Amethyst

What is Amethyst?

Amethyst is a purple variety of crystalline quartz, a common mineral made of silicon dioxide. It's known for its vibrant colour and is often used in jewellery and decorative items. The purple hue comes from iron impurities and natural radiation within the crystal structure. Amethyst is found in many parts of the world, often in geodes or volcanic rocks.

How is Amethyst Formed?

Silicon Dioxide (SiO₂)

A mineral primarily composed of silicon and oxygen.

Iron (Fe) + Radiation

Tiny amounts of iron within the crystal structure are exposed to natural radiation over time. This radiation alters the iron, causing the crystal to absorb and reflect light in a way that produces the purple color we see.

Amethyst is formed when silica-rich fluids containing iron impurities flow into gas cavities in volcanic rocks. Over time, these fluids cool and crystallise.

Etymology

Amethyst comes from the Greek word "amethystos" meaning "not intoxicated". This is because the Greeks believed that amethyst could protect them from drunkenness and other negative effects of alcohol.

Birthstone

Amethyst is the birthstone for February.

Locations

Major sources of amethyst include Brazil, Uruguay, Zambia, and Russia.

Heat Treatment

When heated, amethyst can turn yellow or brownish-yellow, and such heat-treated stones are often sold as citrine.

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