Color: purple to pale reddish purple
Amethyst (a member of the flint family) is the most attractive of all the quartz stones. In ancient times it was ascribed supernatural powers: to bring good fortune, to strengthen the resistance to temptation, to ward off the evil eye and nostalgia. In Greek, ametistus means to counteract intoxication. Amethyst crystals usually grow on a gray opaque quartz substrate. The prismatic facets are usually poorly manifested, dominated by rhombohedron facets. The most intensive coloring is concentrated near the tip of the head, so the heads are chopped off when the stone is cut.
The hardening at 470-750°C results in the change of amethyst coloring to golden-yellow - citrine, and careless heating - to its disappearance at all (this should be considered when soldering). Some amethysts turn pale in the light. When irradiated with radioactivity the original coloring is restored. The coloring of amethyst has a radiation nature and is connected with iron admixture.
Amethysts are found in alpine and hydrothermal veins. They are often found in the form of druses and brushes. They are mined from placers. The most important deposits of amethyst are in Brazil, Uruguay, and Madagascar. Widely known are Ural amethysts with a slight purple hue. The best varieties of amethyst are cut, others are cut in cabochons or used in pieces of art. It is difficult to confuse amethyst with any other mineral because of its characteristic coloring. Only violet fluorite and sometimes spinel resemble it. Less often, tourmaline and synthetic corundum have shades similar to amethyst.
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