SiO2 or Amethyst is most notable for its violet to purple hue and color. Meaning “not drunk” from the Greek word “a-methystos”, Amethyst is a vitreous variety of Quartz. It’s purple color come from gamma irradiation and the presence of iron and other transitional metal traces built into its crystal lattice. It is most popularly found in a deep purple, pale violet, or light lavender color. However, it does possess secondary hues of reds and blues. It displays with color zoning frequently, with the most intense coloring found at the crystal terminations – making this the most prized variety of quartz. It is the state gemstone of South Carolina. Amethyst is commonly used in jewelry. Amethyst is classified as semi-precious.
The gemstone is pleochroic when polarization of light is changed from parallel to the c-axis and perpendicular to the c-axis, changing color from blue-violet to purple. The crystals are not very large, usually not longer than 30 cm, which in of itself is very rare. Druzy crystals aggregates outline cavities, often in geodes – short-prismatic or lacking prism faces, and are common in volcanic rocks, hydrothermal veins, and cavities of sedimentary rocks. The term “scepters” or late syntaxial overgrowth, is used for other color varieties of quartz, commonly with Amethyst, for high to medium temperature environments like alpine fissures and pegmatites; split-grown crystals found in hydrothermal veins of ore deposits and volcanic rocks; or as individual well-formed crystals from small cavities and fissures. When in hydrothermal veins sometimes it appears with several growth phases and variable coloring, with banding.
Amethyst is found throughout the world, but high-quality specimens found in the Far East, Siberia, Sri Lanka, Brazil, and Uruguay. The greatest production locations are often Maraba, Pau d’Arco, Para, Parana Basin, Rio Grade do Sul, Brazil, Sandoval, Santa Cruz – Bolivia, Artigas – Uruguay, Kaloma – Zambia, and Thunder Bay Ontario Canada. Others found in Africa, Spain, Brazil, Argentia, Russia, Mexico, South Korea, Afghanistan, and the United States. In the United States – it is most notably found at Four Peaks / Gila / Maricopa Counties of Arizona, and Jackson’s Crossroads in Wilkes County Georgia. Smaller produced area found near Fort Collins, Colorado; Amethyst Mountain Texas, Yellowstone National Park, Delaware County Pennyslvania, North Carolina, Deer Hill / Stow Maine, Lake Superior area of Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan. Common in Ontario and Nova Scotia Canada.
Beliefs and Folklore about Amethyst
Amethyst was worn by the Greeks and carved into drinking vessels believing it would prevent intoxication. Medieval soldiers were said to wear the stone for protection in battle believing it was a healing gemstone that would also keep them cool-headed. The ancient Chinese also seemed to believe it removed hazards and negative energies. Tibetans saw the gemstone sacred to the Buddha and often make prayer beads from it. It is seen as the February birthstone in much of the world. It was a symbol of royalty in the Middle Ages. Known to represent supreme spirituality, it is a magical stone of choice. It is known to bring peace, tranquility, peace, satisfaction, aid in meditation, developing intuition, creativity, and connection with the divine.
By Thomas Baurley, Techno Tink Treasure.