Amethyst is in the quartz species and was a prized gem until it was discovered in abundance in South America. Until the end of the 19th century, Amethyst was commonly found in Russia. Today, the 2 major amethyst sources are Africa and South America. 75% of commercial quality amethyst comes from Brazil where the rough is larger in size but paler in color. The majority of fine quality amethyst is sourced from Africa.
At the Buckhead store, $650
Amethyst is found in a variety of hues from strongly saturated violetish purple to reddish purple in the finer quality stone and grayish violet in the commercial grade stones. In the trade, there are 4 amethyst grades; AAA (vivid color), AA or A (medium-dark color), B (medium color), and C (light color). Grade B represents the majority of the amethyst market.
The most common treatment used for amethyst is heat treatment. The heat treatment has 3 possible outcomes. First, it can lighten the color of a dark amethyst. Second, it can remove brownish tints. And lastly, the heating process can make a light purple amethyst turn yellow or green with no detectible signs of treatment.
Provided by our gemologist in Buckhead, Tori Ross