Amethyst (Dark)

Graceful Serenity

Find deep inner peace and spiritual strength.

Take responsibility for your thoughts and actions.

Increase your intuition and deepen meditation.

Be discerning, focused, and aware of what is real.  

Let Amethyst reveal your true power and wisdom!

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Mineralogy of Amethyst

Rough Amethyst

Rough Amethyst, Artigas, Artigas Department, Uruguay

Mineral Family: Tectosilicate 

Chemical Composition:
SiO2 
Cleavage: None
Color: Purple, violet, pale red-violet
Crystal System: Triagonal/Hexagonal
Form/Habit: Pyramidal, sometimes prismatic
Fracture: Conchoidal, very brittle
Gravity: 2.65
Hardness: 7
Luminescence: Green, weak (short wave)
Luster: Vitreous
Streak: White
Transparency: Transparent to translucent

Location: The most important Amethyst deposits are in Brazil, Bolivia, Russia, and Uruguay. Additional Amethyst deposits are located in Canada, India, Madagascar, Mexico, Myanmar (Burma), Namibia, Russia, South Africa, South Korea, Sri Lanka, United States (Arizona, Colorado, Maine, Minnesota, Montana, North Carolina, Oregon, Texas and Wisconsin), and Zambia.

Amethyst mine location

Mineral Family: Amethyst is the purple variety of Quartz, which is in turn a Silicate mineral. Silicate minerals are the largest family of minerals, including more than 25% of all known minerals and 40% of all common minerals. In addition to being a major part of the Earth’s crust, Silicate minerals have also been found on the moon and in meteorites. Silicates are minerals which contain the elements Silicon (a light gray shiny metal) and Oxygen (a colorless gas). Together, these two elements form a tetrahedron – a shape similar to a pyramid – with a Silicon atom in the center and Oxygen atoms at each of the four corners. These tetrahedra connect with other chemical structures, in six different ways, to form various minerals and rocks. There are six main groups of Silicate minerals, and these main groups are further subdivided into secondary subdivisions, such as Quartz and Feldspar. Quartz is a large mineral family in its own right and its members come in every shade of the rainbow. Colorless Quartz is called Clear Quartz or Rock Crystal. Yellow Quartz is Citrine. Green Quartz is Prasiolite. Brown Quartz is Smoky Quartz. Pink Quartz is, of course, Rose Quartz. The most highly prized variety of all is Amethyst, or purple Quartz. While Amethyst ranges from light violet to darkest purple, transparent crystals with a deep, rich, royal purple color are the most desirable. 

Formation: Amethyst is created when liquid magma from a volcanic explosion cools down and transforms into igneous rocks. During this cooling down period, silica acid bubbles shift from being a gas/liquid into a solid compound. The bubble becomes a hollow space in the igneous rock and the silica acid becomes Quartz crystals. Trace particles of iron within the silica acid gives Amethyst its purple color, otherwise the silica acid would transform into Clear Quartz. A hollow lined with Amethyst crystals is called an Amethyst Druze (large) or Amethyst Geode (small).

Mining: Amethyst is a highly desirable and relatively common semi-precious stone. As a result, it is the primary focus for numerous mines located around the world. In the largest deposits, such as those in Brazil, Amethyst can be mined directly at their primary deposit, the site where the crystals originally formed. Virtually all Amethyst Druze as well as many Amethyst Geodes are found at such primary deposits. Smaller deposits are often found downstream of the primary deposit, and are typically made up of the smaller geodes.

Brazilian Amethyst Mine

Brazilian Amethyst Mine

Enhancements: Lab-created Amethyst is widely available in the fine gemstone market and is primarily used for jewelry. Most other Amethysts may be considered fully natural, enhanced only by tumbling, cutting, and polishing.

Map courtesy of TravelBlog
Photos: Rough Amethyst, Amethyst Mine

History of Amethyst

Amethyst has one of the oldest and most detailed historical traditions of any healing stone. It is included in virtually every known lapidary, texts which describe gemstones and their powers. Some of the most ancient traditions concerning Amethyst date back to the very dawn of human civilization and probably originated long before that!

For centuries, gem dealers in the Old World considered Amethyst to be one of only five “cardinal gemstones,” comparable with Diamond, Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald. These cardinal gemstones were considered so rare that only the very highest echelons of society could hope to own one.  However, in the 18th century, large Amethyst mines were discovered in Brazil and soon flooded the market, thus transforming Amethyst from a “precious” to a “semi-precious” stone.

Breastplate of the High Priest

Breastplate of the High Priest

Amethyst is mentioned in both the Bible and the Torah, as the ninth of twelve stones which decorated the breastplate of the High Priest of ancient Israel. The design for the Breastplate was given by God to Moses, whose brother Aaron was the first to wear it. Each of the gemstones on the Breastplate were inscribed with the symbol for one of the Twelves Tribes of Israel. Amethyst was most likely inscribed with the Tribe of Issachar or Daniel. In later Christian lore, Amethyst was thought to correspond to the apostle Mattias and to symbolize ‘celestial fire.’ The Roman Catholic Church associated Amethyst with the blood of Christ and, for that reason, many cathedrals had sacrament goblets carved from large Amethysts. St. Valentine is also associated with this gemstone, and, according to lore, the Saint wore an Amethyst ring engraved with the figure of cupid.

1The very oldest reference to Amethysts is found in the Egyptian Book of the Dead, a funerary text dating back to 3400 BCE. The Book of the Dead is a funerary text whose name may be more correctly translated as the Book of Emerging Forth Into The Light. It contains a series of magical spells which, if used correctly, were thought to help the souls of the dead travel safely through the Underworld. In the Egyptian Book of the Dead, an Amethyst heart is described as the symbol for ‘wisdom in life’ and later as a symbol of ‘pure intellect.’

According to later Egyptian medical texts, an Amethyst necklace combined with a swallow feather and hung on a peacock ‘hair’ would protect the wearer from sorcery and cure gout. The remedy was described centuries later by Pliny the Elder (CE 23-79), a Roman author, naturalist and philopsher. In his lapidary, The Natural History of Precious Gemstones, Pliny the Elder wrote, “The lying Magi claim…that if the names of the Moon or Sun be engraved upon [an Amethyst], and they be hung about the neck from the hair of a baboon, or the feathers of a swallow, they are a charm against witchcraft. They are also serviceable to persons having petitions to make to Princes: they keep off hailstorms and flights of locusts, with the assistance of a spell…”  While Pliny the Elder scoffed at the Egyptian beliefs, he also related that Amethyst was nicknamed  ‘Venus’ eyelid’ on account of its great beauty. Most famously, Pliny the Elder provided one of the earliest known references for Amethyst’s ability to ward off drunkenness, a feat long celebrated by both the ancient Egyptians and Greeks.

Cortege Dionysus

Bacchus

In the 14th century, the French poet Remy Belleau (1528-1577) wrote L’Amethyste, ou les Amours de Bacchus et d’Amethyste (Amethyst or the loves of Bacchus and Amethyste), which describes how Amethyst was created and became linked with sobriety. While the myth is relatively modern, it follows the ancient mythic style of an unfortunate encounter between a mortal woman and a god…

One day Bacchus, the god of wine, was in a foul mood and feeling neglected. He decided to take out his frustration on the first mortal he encountered. Soon after, a beautiful young woman named Amethyste passed the god while on her way to worship at the shrine of the goddess Artemis. Bacchus ordered his tigers to devour the girl. As the beasts attacked, Amethyst cried out the name of the goddess to save her. Artemis responded by turning Amethyst into a white stone that could not be hurt by the tigers. Bacchus, suddenly struck by remorse, collected his best wines and poured the vintage over the white stone, dyeing it a vivid purple.

Photos: Breastplate of the High Priest, Amethyst, Amethyst Heart, Bacchus

Healing Properties of Amethyst

Spiritual: Amethyst is a highly mystical stone that encourages spirituality and spiritual insights. It heightens our sense of justice and encourages us to act from a place of deep integrity. Amethyst makes an extremely good meditation stone and can help to quiet the mind from distractions. It increases intuition and enhances psychic gifts, while ensuring that we remain logical and grounded. Amethyst is attuned to the Third Eye and Crown Chakras and linked to the astrological signs of Virgo, Capricorn, Aquarius, Pisces. It is connected to the element of Wind and vibrates to the number 3.

Emotional: Amethyst provides the gift of emotional grace, helping us to balance out emotional highs and lows and stay steady and serene. It encourages us to abstain from overindulgence in all forms, including emotional indulgence. In particular, Amethyst helps us to stop wallowing in negative energies of our own making, especially ‘victim mentality.’ Amethyst helps us to identify the root causes behind behaviors and emotional patterns, and to have the courage to make the necessary changes. Amethyst is an excellent stone to have during times of grief and sadness, enabling us to come to terms with loss. Above all, Amethyst charges us to accept our Personal Power and live from a place of strength and peace.

Mental: Amethyst encourages clarity, focus, and awareness. It helps us to take responsibility for our own actions and encourages us to overcome addictive behavior and mental blocks. Amethyst is useful to have when debating, since it couples spiritual insights and inspiration with intellectual reasoning and logic. It continually reveals that the most “sensible” solution is also the one that serves the Highest Good for all.

Physical: Amethyst is said to reduce pain, tension, bruising, and swelling. It is most often used by metaphysical healers to relieve headaches and insomnia. Amethyst is thought to clear the aura and transmute any dysfunctional energy located within the physical body, making Amethyst a wonderful healing stone for general health maintenance and preventive care.

Always use wisdom when considering crystal therapies for healing.

Ethically Sourced Amethyst

 

The Miners sell to a Lapidary

The Lapidary sells to a Gem Dealer/Importer.

The Importer sells directly to Moonrise Crystals.

Moonrise Crystals sells directly to you.

 

 

 

 

 

The Supply Chain

The Supply Chain is complicated but likely clean.

The Mine and Lapidary are most likely in the same country, but the exporter is from a different country. 

At least two middle-men are involved.

 

 

The Mine

This Amethyst comes from a small mine in Brazil.

The exact mine is unknown, but most likely caused only minimal environmental damage.

Learn More: Ethical Mining

 

 

The Lapidary & Importer

This Amethyst was most likely polished in Brazil and then exported to the United States.    

The Importer is a family business, founded by an aunt in the USA and her nephew in Lima, Peru.

The Importer is eco-conscious and workers are paid fairly

Learn More: Ethical Lapidary

 

Sourcing Relationship

I first spoke to the manager of the export company after finding them online in early 2017 and met the manager in person at the Denver Gem Show later that year.  I was cautious about doing business with them since they are the exporter, rather than the miners or tumblers.  But I studied their company and was pleased by their dedication to environmentalism.  They focus on exporting Fair Trade, Consciously-Made, and No-Harm Peruvian handicrafts.  They also have worked to reduce their carbon footprint in their wholesale warehouse.

In 2019, I had a long conversation with the manager about ethical topics in the stone industry.  She was willing to speak candidly about both the positives and the negatives.  She also shared how she personally struggled with the ethical issues and her part in the supply chain.  Whenever a shipment of goods arrives from Peru, she insists on smudging every box before it is brought into the factory.  The manager introduced me to the mother of the current owner.  A tiny woman, less than 5 ft tall, she was happy to reminisce with me about how she started the company more than 30 years ago.  She had been a young immigrant mother, searching for a new life.  Her nephew, back in Peru, shipped her a few buckets of Pyrite and asked her to see if she could sell them.  She laughed to remember those days and radiated happiness and gratitude.  Today, the business is run by her son and his cousin in Peru.

Amethyst Tumbled Stone

Color: Dark purple, opaque, may have occasional white chevrons.  This is a 100% natural stone, so minor variations are part of their unique beauty.

Size: 1 inch, or a little bit bigger

Weight: 1 oz

Shipping: Next business day – Domestic First Class averages 3-7 days.  International First Class averages 2-3 weeks. 

Safe Handling of Chevron Amethyst

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