Amethyst is a popular gemstone known for its unique purple color. However, with the rise of fake gemstones on the market, it can be challenging to determine if a piece of amethyst is genuine or not. In this article, we will explore how to distinguish real amethyst from its imitations.
What is Amethyst?
Amethyst is a beautiful gemstone that comes in shades of purple, violet, and mauve. It is a member of the quartz family and is often used in jewelry and crystal healing. This stone is known for its calming and protective properties and is believed to help with stress, anxiety, and insomnia.
History of Amethyst
Amethyst has been used for centuries in jewelry and for its healing properties. The ancient Greeks believed that amethyst could ward off intoxication and promote clarity of mind. The name “amethyst” comes from the Greek word “amethystos,” which means “not drunk.” In ancient Egypt, amethyst was used for protection and was often placed in tombs.
Types of Amethyst
There are several types of amethyst, including Uruguayan, Siberian, and Brazilian. The color and quality of the stone can vary depending on where it was mined. Uruguayan amethyst is known for its deep purple color and is considered one of the highest quality types of amethyst. Siberian amethyst is also highly prized, but it is much rarer than other types of amethyst. Brazilian amethyst is the most common type of amethyst and is often used in jewelry.
While amethyst is a popular and widely available gemstone, there are many fake amethysts on the market. Here are some tips on how to identify real amethyst:
Real amethyst comes in shades of purple, violet, and mauve. The color should be consistent throughout the stone, with no visible discoloration or spots. If the color is too bright or too dark, it may not be real amethyst.
Real amethyst should be clear and free of any inclusions or blemishes. If the stone has visible cracks or scratches, it may be a fake.
Amethyst has a hardness of 7 on the Mohs scale, which means it is relatively hard and durable. If the stone is easily scratched or damaged, it may not be real amethyst.
Real amethyst is relatively heavy, so if the stone feels light or flimsy, it may not be real amethyst.
While price alone is not a reliable indicator of real amethyst, if the price seems too good to be true, it probably is. Be wary of extremely cheap amethysts, as they may be fake or low-quality.
How to Care for Amethyst
To keep your amethyst looking beautiful, it is important to take proper care of it. Here are some tips on how to care for your amethyst:
To clean your amethyst, simply wipe it with a soft, damp cloth. Avoid using harsh chemicals or ultrasonic cleaners, as they can damage the stone.
Store your amethyst in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight. Avoid storing it with other jewelry, as it can scratch or damage the stone.
To keep your amethyst’s energy strong, you can charge it by placing it in sunlight or moonlight for a few hours. You can also charge it by placing it on a quartz cluster or by placing it in a bowl of salt water.
FAQs: How can you tell amethyst is real?
What is amethyst?
Amethyst is a violet variety of quartz often used in jewelry. The name amethyst comes from the ancient Greek ἀ a- (‘not’) and μέθυστος methustos (‘intoxicated’), a reference to the belief that the stone protected its owner from drunkenness. The ancient Greeks wore amethyst and made drinking vessels decorated with it in the belief that it would prevent intoxication. It is also the birthstone for February.
How can you tell if amethyst is real?
To tell if an amethyst is real or not, you can perform a quick visual test. The genuine amethyst is usually a deep medium or dark purple color, while a fake stone will look artificially bright purple or pale to the naked eye. The stone should also have a high degree of transparency, with visible inclusions and color zoning, making it appear almost luminescent. A real amethyst’s color does not change when viewed from different angles. If the stone has pale color or is too dark, it could be synthetic or heat-treated.
What is synthetic amethyst?
Synthetic amethyst is created in a laboratory by a process known as hydrothermal growth. This method involves the growth of crystals from a high-temperature and high-pressure aqueous solution, which mimics the conditions found within the Earth’s mantle. Synthetic amethyst possesses identical physical and chemical properties to natural amethyst; the only difference is that it is created artificially. It is difficult to distinguish between natural and synthetic amethyst based on appearance alone, so it is best to rely on official appraisals and certificates to determine whether a stone is real or not.
Can amethyst be heated or treated to change its color?
Amethyst can be heat-treated using high-temperature ovens or irradiation techniques to alter its color. In nature, the purple coloring of amethyst results from the presence of iron, but when heated, the iron is removed, and the amethyst becomes yellow or orange. Irradiation is another common method to make amethyst appear more vibrant; this involves exposing the stone to gamma rays or electron beams. These treatments do not affect the physical or chemical properties of the stone but only alter its appearance. Therefore, it is essential to inquire about any potential treatments before purchasing an amethyst.