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Amethysts are a popular stone. Centuries ago, they weren’t available to common people and were very expensive. Luckily, this has changed. So, if you want to buy something nice for yourself or a loved one, how much does this purple gem cost? Here’s a quick guide.
It’s no surprise that amethysts or purple quartz, are a popular choice, both for rock collectors and for jewelry. After all, amethysts, and the color purple in general, are rich with meaning. This purple gem has been a symbol of royalty and authority since ancient times. For instance, Catholic bishops wear an amethyst ring, which represents their office. This stone was chosen because in biblical times the High Priest would wear a garment that had this large gemstone.
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Whereas, Ancient Greeks believed that amethyst could prevent someone who was drinking too much wine from getting drunk, and later it was seen as protective against disease. In Chinese Feng Shui, they assign this particular gemstone the power to attract money. With all these connotations, it’s easy to see why amethyst was once very popular.
Amethyst is the birthstone of those born in February, and many people believe it has the power to clear the mind and boost productivity. No matter the meaning people give to these rich purple quartz, its continued popularity will keep the price higher than that of many other semi precious stones.
At its most basic, amethyst is simply purple quartz (silicon dioxide). Like many minerals, quartz comes in a wide variety of colors, but amethyst is the most valuable of them. Without any impurities, quartz crystals are colorless. However, these crystals become amethyst with the addition of iron impurities and radiation from the surrounding rocks. By definition, all amethyst is purple, though different conditions close by can produce bi-colored crystals called ametrine. When faceted, these purple gemstones should have a smooth surface that reflects the light, sort of like gleaming metal.
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Like all stones, purple amethyst is more or less expensive based on a variety of factors. Here are the main ones:
While all amethyst is purple, some pieces are lighter or darker. Moreover, those gems darker in color tend to be more valuable, with the exception of material that’s so dark it looks black in low light. While exact purple quartz value figures are hard to come by, expect to pay 3-5 times as much for a darker (Siberian) stone as you would for a lighter (e.g., “Rose de France) specimen.
Another color-related factor in natural amethyst stone value is the uniformity of color. Within an amethyst crystal, there can be “zones” that are lighter or darker. Ideal purple quartz will have a uniform color throughout the piece.
While purple quartz comes in all degrees of clarity, most faceted stones are what jewelers call “eye-clean.” This means that you can’t see any significant inclusions or flaws in the stone with an unaided eye. Rough amethyst that isn’t at least close to eye clean is not usually faceted for jewelry. That’s not to say that other purple quartz isn’t used.
For instance, translucent amethyst is often made into cabochons, which are round-topped polished shapes that can also be set into jewelry. Another use for lower-quality material is gemstone beads, which can be made into lovely, generally low-cost, jewelry.
No matter what kind of gemstone you buy, larger stones are going to cost more. However, amethysts do not have much of a carat value difference. Unless you want to buy a very large stone, you won’t pay more per carat than you would for the same weight of several smaller stones.
As with all gemstones, when selecting an amethyst ring or other jewelry you want it to include a stone that’s been cut properly. With amethysts, the shape has little impact overall but cuts such as round brilliant, waste a lot of the rough material during cutting. Add in the popularity of round cuts, and you can see why these purple quartz are a bit more expensive.
Another popular choice at With Clarity is the oval cut, but these are less expensive. Other options can include just about any shape you’d find a diamond in, plus certain “fantasy cuts” that showcase the cutter’s skill.
Well, in the end, it depends on the grade. As we’ve discussed above, grade is determined mainly by the clarity and color of these purple gemstones, because cut and carat have little impact. A grade-AA stone might be lighter in color or have a few visible inclusions.
AAA stones are eye clean, and rich in color. They might also have some color zoning. AAAA stones are excellent all-around: rich, even color and eye-clean, but extremely rare. At With Clarity, we use these AAA stones for our amethyst rings.
Treatments in gemstones are uncommon, except in two situations: when it is used to enhance color and less inclusions, or to turn it into another type of gemstone. Amethyst is usually treated because it can be extremely dark (to turn it lighter), or it can be used to make it into another type of quartz.
In particular, purple quartz is transformed by heat into citrine or green quartz. There isn’t a lot of incentive to heat treat for inclusions due to the risk of color loss/transformation. As a result, these changes have little effect on the value, unless an extremely dark stone is lightened to the ideal Siberian shade. A reputable jeweler or gemologist should tell you about these treatments.
Lab amethysts are chemically identical to natural amethysts, and created in a manner that’s similar to natural gemstones. Because amethyst crystal rock value is fairly low, synthetics aren’t common on the market. However, should you encounter one they essentially do not have value after purchase.
At With Clarity, we offer a range of amethyst rings set in 14 karat white, yellow, or rose gold. Buyers can select a ring with these precious purple stones, up to 3.05 carats, and a price ranging between $400-$4,000. These can contain one or multiple gemstones, and some styles come with diamonds.
Ready to buy? Browse our collection contact us by phone at 1(844)-234-6463 or email at [email protected]. Our Live Chat is available during business hours Monday - Friday 10AM - 6PM ET. Our gemologists are happy to help with selection.
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