Amethyst is the purple color variety of quartz. It is the most popular purple gem and one of the most popular gemstones of all time. Amethyst is used to produce faceted stones, cabochons, beads, tumbled stones, and many other items for jewelry and ornamental use.
Amethyst has a Mohs hardness of 7 and does not break by cleavage. It is a gem that is durable enough for use in rings, earrings, pendants, bracelets and other types of jewelry. Enormous deposits of amethyst in South America and Africa provide enough material to keep amethyst’s price low enough that most people can easily afford it.
Amethyst is an extremely popular gem because of its attractive purple color. Like the word “turquoise,” the word “amethyst” is now the name of a color as well as the name of a gem material.
While the word “amethyst” makes most people think of a dark purple gem, amethyst actually occurs in many purple colors. The purple color can be so light that it is barely perceptible or so dark that it is nearly opaque. It can be reddish purple, purple, or violetish purple. Amethyst exists in this wide range of colors.