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Home: Gemstone Beads Index: Amethyst Beads

About Amethyst

amethyst beads
Amethyst is the official birthstone for February and one of our best-selling gemstones.

Amethyst is the most highly prized variety of quartz and if not for its widespread availability, would be very expensive. With its luscious color, it is the official birthstone for February and one of our best-selling gemstones. (Also growing in popularity on the market is a blend of amethyst and citrine, dubbed "ametrine," which is often heat-treated.) Amethyst is formed in silica-rich liquids deposited in gas cavities (geodes) in lava. It occurs in crystalline masses, but the crystals are generally not well developed, so they are generally found as clusters of crystal points. Though geodes are the best place to locate amethysts, they also sometimes grow as stalactites. The stone's name is derived from the Greek word amethystos, meaning "not drunken," because people of ancient times believed it to protect the wearer from drunkenness. For this reason, wine goblets often were carved from it! Some amethysts will lose their color in sunlight, so keep them away from direct exposure to help maintain their rich purple.

In addition to "preventing" drunkenness, people also once thought the stone encouraged celibacy and symbolized piety. Amethyst was therefore very important in the ornamentation of churches in the Middle Ages. Leonardo Da Vinci wrote that amethyst had the power to dissipate evil thoughts and quicken intelligence. The stone also makes an appearance in L.M. Montgomery's classic book Anne of Green Gables, in which Anne admires an amethyst brooch; she explains that she once thought diamonds must be this beautiful purple color, and cried when she learned they were just plain white. In Tibet, amethyst is considered sacred to Buddha, and rosaries are often fashioned from it. Western mystics say the stone helps instill the highest ideals and urges one to do what is right. They also claim amethyst cures impatience, alleviates feelings of victimization, balances high energy, eliminates chaos and helps keep one grounded. The official state gemstone of the state of Georgia, amethyst is mined in the U.S.A., Brazil, Uruguay, Bolivia, Argentina, Zambia, Namibia and other African countries.

For more, see lab-grown amethyst, which has the same chemical, physical and optical characteristics as its natural counterpart.

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Types of Amethyst Beads

a grade amethyst beads

A-Grade Amethyst Beads

This superb-quality amethyst has a beautiful color, composition and polish.

ab-b grade amethyst beads

AB-B Grade Amethyst Beads

Medium-quality (AB-B grade) amethyst.

Cape amethyst from Rings & Things.

Cape Amethyst Beads

Cape Amethyst is amethyst layered or striped with milky quartz. It is usually translucent and ranges in color from light to medium purple.

greened amethyst beads from Rings & Things Wholesale

Greened Amethyst Beads

Our greened amethyst beads have a delicate, sage green color, admired by many for its ability to complement, rather than compete, with other colors in jewelry and clothing. By definition, the gemstone amethyst is a purple form of quartz. Green amethyst does occur naturally under very unique geological conditions - usually right next to purple amethyst - but greened amethyst beads in the marketplace are either irradiated clear quartz or heat-treated amethyst. Not all amethyst will turn green when heated - if it doesn't contain certain iron compounds, the stone will turn yellow (citrine), brown or orange. Most "greenable" amethyst is mined in Brazil, but there are also sources in North America and Africa. While misleading, the name greened amethyst may have caught on in the marketplace in order to differentiate this translucent quartz variety from chrysoprase and prase (opaque varieties of green quartz). Strengthening the heart chakra and providing emotional support during stressful times are just a couple of the healing properties attributed to greened amethyst.

lavender amethyst

Lavender Amethyst

This is a pale purple, subtly striped variety of amethyst. It is lower grade, and thus of lower value, than darker, translucent amethyst, yet provides an unusual and pleasant pastel touch.

Gemstone Beads Index


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