Posted on Thursday, February 8th, 2018 at 6:29 pm by Joette
Amethyst is the birthstone for February but it is one of the most popular gems for all people. It is helpful to know how to distinguish fine amethysts from those that are lower in quality.
First, amethyst is in the quartz family so it should be free from flaws that you can see without magnification. Second, look into the main body of the amethyst to see if the color is evenly distributed or if it is banded. Banded means streaky and it is not a good thing.
The most important thing to know is what color is superior. Oddly enough, you do not look into the gem to determine this. Instead you move the gem back and forth and look at the flashes. The closer the flashes are to pure red, the better the amethyst. This will only happen in deeper purple jewels.
For a long time Siberia was the world’s best source for top quality amethyst. WAIT! Don’t book your flight to Russia. Russia’s best amethysts have been mined out. In fact, at this time, there is no place on earth that is consistently producing top amethyst, which, by the way, is now called Siberian Amethyst. That name no longer tells you where a gem was found. It tells you that it is top quality. And, yes, you have to be careful. I have seen middle quality amethysts called Siberian by someone trying to make the sale.
If there are no mines producing a lot of great amethysts, what’s a person to do? Look in the estate jewelry counters wherever you go. That is where you are most likely to find the rich purple with nearly red flashes.
Please note that the comments above are about the most expensive amethysts. You personally might like the lighter shades or you might want a gem that matches a particular scarf. That’s fine. You will just have the pleasure of getting what you want for a bit less money than what the market place calls “fine.”