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For those who were born in February, amethyst is the official birthstone, it is also given in celebration of the 6th and the 17th wedding anniversary. In ancient Greek, the word, "amethystos" means "not intoxicated", and since ancient times, amethyst was carved into wine goblets and worn in rings in the belief that it would prevent drunkenness.
Amethyst is probably the best-known purple gemstone. The purple color of amethyst comes from traces of iron and aluminum; quartz without trace impurities is clear and white. There is lots of synthetic quartz in the marketplace. The best way to identify synthetic quartz is by size, color and clarity. Often, synthetic amethyst or citrine comes in extraordinarily large sizes with perfect clarity. Natural amethyst or citrine will typically exhibit color zoning that you won't find in synthetic material. There is a practice of "burning amethyst" to create citrine. If amethyst is heated to about 900 degrees Fahrenheit, it turns colors that vary from bright goldenrod, to amber, orange or brown and is sold as "citrine." In Bolivia, amethyst and citrine occur in the same crystal. The unique gems, called ametrine, are half purple and half yellow.
Amethyst is found in many parts of the world, the quality varies according to location. Amethyst from South America is often found in large sizes, while African amethyst crystals are usually quite small but highly saturated in color. Deposits of amethyst that are found in Thunder Bay, Ontario, are found as drusy crusts lining the fissures of ancient rock. The Canadian mines produce amethyst with unique reddish inclusions of hematite, currently being trade-named cherry amethyst.
Amethyst was as expensive as ruby and emerald until the 19th Century, when Brazil’s large deposits were discovered. Today it is readily available in large amounts so the value of the gem is not primarily defined by weight. Single amethyst crystals can be huge, the GIA Museum once displayed a doubly terminated crystal that weighed 164 pounds! The biggest factor in the value of amethyst is the color displayed.
Amethyst is one of the emblems of the twelve apostles, it is the last gemstone listed in the third row of the High Priest's breastplate in Exodus 28:19.
Take care of amethyst show pieces, it will fade with sunlight exposure. We recommended crystals, including all types of quartz except clear quartz, not be left in the sun for too long because their color can fade. If the color does fade, there isn't any way to restore it.
My dad and my daughter standing next to large amethyst pieces in Tucson, Arizona