Amethyst belongs to the quartz family of minerals. Quartz is one of the most commonly found minerals in the earth's crust. The chemical Silica Dioxide (SiO2) forms an important part in quartz and of most other igneous (volcanic) rocks.

Amethyst is usually blue or violet and sometimes occurs in shades of purple, lilac or mauve. The color is due to the presence of ferric iron and manganese. As much iron as would fit on the head of a pin can color one cubic foot of quartz.

Amethyst is formed in silica rich liquids deposited in gas cavities (geodes) in lava. Amethyst occurs in crystalline masses, and when conditions permit, it forms hexagonal crystals. Crystals are usually grown from a base. The crystals are generally not well developed, therefore they are generally found as clusters of crystal points. Although it is usually found in geodes amethyst is sometimes found as a stalactite.

Amethyst is the most valuable of the quartz group. Perfect crystals are rare. However, when they are found, they are cut as gems or collected as mineral specimens. Amethyst is dichroic, showing a bluish or reddish purple tinge when viewed from different angles. Amethyst has distinctive inclusions that look like tiger stripes, thumbprints or feathers.

Deep tones of amethyst tend to be most favored. Rich sources of good quality crystals come from Russia in the Ural Mountains, Brazil, and Uruguay, though it is also found in over twenty countries around the world.

Magic & Myth

Cool and relaxing, amethyst is a stone of psychic power. Wearing this form of quartz helps promote meditation, peace, tranquility and oneness with your spiritual goals. It enhances and strengthens the powers of the bearer and helps attune with the higher self, dispelling fears, heightening intuition and helping to embrace your own intuitive wisdom.

In ancient times it was said to be "proof against poison". We now know that amethyst is a "negative ion", which attracts poisonous "positive ions" to it, thus clearing the air around the wearer and helping to make it more breathable. Amethyst is also said to be a stone of sobriety, and can help the wearer become free of addictive tendencies.