Amethyst: Ultimate Guide To Collecting Amethyst (What It Is and How To Find It!) (2022)

Amethyst, with a dreamy purple color, is one of the most sought after semi-precious gemstones. There’s just something about it, no matter what form it takes, that draws people in. It’s a great stone for collectors as well, due to natural variations in the stone.

So, if you’re a new rockhound and looking to start collecting amethyst read on. I’ll break down what makes amethyst itself, what types are out there, and where you can find it on a solo adventure!

What is Amethyst?

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Amethyst is macrocrystalline quartz with iron inclusions that cooled below 420° C(788°F) with a purple coloration. Another 20°C and the formation could have been citrine, and if the crystals form between 420°C and 440°C then the final form is prasiolite.

For most of us, the main form of amethyst is in geodes and crystal points. Both are common in the rock trade, and amethyst geodes range from golf ball-sized to bigger than a person! Since they’re relatively common you can find very affordable specimens of middling quality without difficulty.

The coloration is formed from natural radiation and trace amounts of Fe₃+ ions.

Amethyst can be a valuable gemstone in its own right. Properly faceted amethyst with deep saturation and high clarity are prized for making jewelry.

Amethyst is known for “color zoning” within it’s crystals. It’s common to see darker and lighter splotches of purple in the stone, for instance, and sometimes clear quartz is in there as well.

What Types of Amethyst Are There?

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Amethyst occurs in a few variations in nature.

Most people classify their amethyst by the crystal structure. Common finds include:

Geodes

Pockets of amethyst that are lined with crystals. Amethyst geodes are common and vary a lot in color and quality. If you’re into very large geodes, amethyst is a good stone to look into, since natural formations get huge.

Clusters

Smaller formations of crystals, often sticking off a white or clear base.

Points

Singular crystals with a terminated point. They’re usually hexagonal like regular quartz crystals.

Grape Agate

Clusters of ball-shaped formations. Grape agate occurs with druzy, making it macrocrystalline. Grape agate just happens to sound catchier than botryoidal amethyst.

The Uses and Value of Amethyst

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Amethyst is worked as a gemstone for jewelry as well. Cabochons and slabs are often typed by the pattern. The most common example is Chevron amethyst, which forms with a characteristic V-formation.

If you’re into collecting gemstones, you may be confused by amethyst pricing. Gemstones range from pennies to hundreds of dollars, and size doesn’t seem to be a big correlation.

(Video) OSRS ULTIMATE Mining Amethyst Guide 2022- Everything You Need To Know About Mining Amethyst (1 Hour)

Amethyst is valued for dark coloration and the undertones in the stone when used as a gemstone. The grade of stone makes a far larger difference in price than size.

Amethyst grading is based on color saturation, clarity, and visible inclusions. Ideal amethyst is purple with hints of red and high clarity. When you’re looking at a stone in person the difference between pale, lavender amethyst and the bold purple of top-shelf stuff is striking.

Buyer Warning: “Green Amethyst” and Synthetic Amethyst

On occasion, you’ll stumble across stones described as “green amethyst.” This a misnomer, and it’s often used in a deceptive manner.

The stone known as green amethyst commercially is the mineral prasiolite. More than that, nearly all prasiolite on the market has been subjected to either heat treatment or ionizing radiation to bring out the color.

Prasiolite, even the treated kind, can be a beautiful stone but without a certificate from an accredited gemologist you’ll never know if it’s natural.

Occasionally a “pink amethyst” or other unique stone will make an appearance. These are usually treated in some way, so do your due diligence so you know what you’re getting.

Synthetic amethyst isn’t very common, but it does pop up on occasion. You’ll mainly find it in surprisingly high-grade and low-priced cut gemstones. It’s usually identified by its lack of inclusions, but the color match is very close in most cases.

Where Can I Find Amethyst?

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Amethyst is found across the world, with the most famous deposits occurring in Brazil. Of course, you probably don’t have access to a commercial mining operation that will let you dig either.

Fortunately, there are a lot of hot spots for this purple crystal spread across the USA. It’s a common occurrence, although quality varies between different mines.

The best spots are in:

  • Arkansas
  • Georgia
  • Arizona

State-By-State Rockhounding Information!

Looking for information on rockhounding in your state or around where you live? Easily find all of our articles by individual states!

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Check Out The Map

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On top of that, a lot of places where quartz crystal is collected also have amethyst.

There aren’t as many amethyst sites as you’ll find with stones like quartz or opal, but there are paid digs open to the public. Jackson Crossroads Mine is probably your best bet if you’re only looking for amethyst crystals.

Amethyst is also found in the Morefield Gem Mine, which offers the unique opportunity to dig in microcline/amazonite. They’re not currently open, but it’s a great experience to look forward to.

Amethyst is of some commercial use, so a lot of smaller deposits are mined privately. Rockhounds are a tight group, but if you’re active in the community chances are you’ll find a good spot sooner or later.

Most often, collectors go to a mine with more varied offerings and happen to pick up a few along the way. If you absolutely love the stuff, there are a few spots it’s the main find but most of the time it’s just going to be an exciting part of various other minerals.

How Do I Collect Amethyst in the Field?

Amethyst collection is much the same as quartz. The crystals form in an identical matter and it’s often found in the same spots. It just happens to have a touch of iron that changes the color mixed into the crystalline matrix.

Gearing Up

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(Video) How to Find the Amethyst Crystal (hypixel skyblock)

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The first thing you need to do is make sure you have appropriate gear for digging.

Most mines require you to bring your own tools, but every rockhound should own an E-tool and a rock pick at the bare minimum.

Make sure you have all of the following:

  • Rock Pick- A light rock pick is great for prying crystals and cracking open possible geodes. The gold standard is the base model Estwing but any solid brand will do.
  • Entrenching Tool- The preferred shovel of rockhounds everywhere. I recommend a military surplus model, but any decent folding shovel does fine.
  • Safety Glasses- Not Optional. You may not look cool when cracking rocks, but you’ll also eliminatethe risk of losing an eye.
  • Work Clothes- Self-explanatory, jeans, a t-shirt, and some kind of cover works in most places. Just be sensible. No open toed shoes.
  • Leather Gloves- Some rockhounds consider these essential, the rest have scarring on their hands. Not required, but strongly recommended. Doubly so for those who don’t usually do physical labor.
  • Water- Many places that are hotbeds for amethyst are also hotbeds for dehydration. Bring an appropriate amount of water, then add 50%. As long as you have extra water is great for examining specimens.

Most sites will rent or sell equipment on the spot, but you’ll be paying a markup, Just get your own set, you’ll be a lot happier.

For some areas you’ll also need heavier digging equipment. Pick axes and sledge hammers are a good idea if you’re going to be breaking a lot of stone.

Most areas are rather hot in the summer, and often very remote. Make sure that you’re not putting yourself at risk, especially if you have any health conditions.

Locating Amethyst in the Field

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If you’re on a paid dig, you’re in luck and you’ll be pointed in the right direction. Paid digs are a great way to collect some specimens for your collection, and there’s something to be said for having a crystal you dug yourself.

In any case, you’re looking for much the same conditions that quartz occurs in. Most often you’ll be looking through mud and clay, or looking for mud and clay deposits in igneous stone.

When you dig into the mud, you should be a bit gentle to avoid damaging the stone. Most of the time it will come out easily enough, allowing you to check for any crystals contained within. Some points can be quite small, so look closely.

In other locations, geodes are the most common form of crystal. In that case you’ll be looking for spherical nodules with a bumpy exterior. We have a small guide for those who want a more in-depth way to identify them.

When you liberate amethyst from host rock, it’s often a good idea to retain the matrix. It makes for a good visual display and clusters are worth more that way.

The key to digging amethyst is to be methodical and work deliberately. If you have a good location, you’ll find good crystals as long as you take your time. In most locations it’s easy to fill a backpack or a few buckets over the course of a day.

Like any other stone, amethyst has its own quirks you’ll learn along the way. The next step is just to put your foot out the door and get ready for an adventure in collecting amethyst!

  • Author
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Jeremy is a professional writer, but his real passion lies with stones. With two decades of collecting behind him, as well as a decade of cutting, he loves to share his broad experience and knowledge about rockhounding. These days he can be found in his workshop, setting the stones he dreamed of as a child. You can find his knowledge here, and his handiwork at his Etsy shop.

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FAQs

How do you collect amethyst? ›

Amethyst Block: Can be obtained by mining it with a diamond, iron, or netherite pickaxe. Amethyst Cluster: The fully grown version of an Amethyst Bud. Can be obtained by mining it with any pickaxe using the Silk Touch enchantment.

What is the best way to find amethyst? ›

Once you have entered a cave you'll need to try to go below y level 70. That is because amethyst

What does amethyst protect you from? ›

Amethyst is a powerful and protective stone. It guards against psychic attack, transmuting the energy into love and protecting the wearer from all types of harm, including geopathic or electromagnetic stress and ill wishes from others.

Where can amethyst be found? ›

The major sources of Amethyst are from Brazil as geodes within volcanic rocks, Uruguay, South Korea, Russia, United States, and South India. Zambia is one of the largest global amethyst producers of 1000 tonnes annually.

What does amethyst look like in raw form? ›

Natural amethyst is dichroic in reddish violet and bluish violet, but when heated, turns yellow-orange, yellow-brown, or dark brownish and may resemble citrine, but loses its dichroism, unlike genuine citrine. When partially heated, amethyst can result in ametrine.

What should I look for when hunting amethyst? ›

Geodes. Amethysts form in long, prismatic crystals. The most prized place for collectors to find amethysts is in geodes, or hollow rocks filled with crystals.

How do I know my amethyst is real? ›

Take a magnifying glass to your Amethyst and check to see what sits beneath the surface, if you see bubbles then it may not be quartz in the first place, and if it isn't quartz, it certainly isn't an Amethyst. Amethysts that are real crystals should be eye clear (that doesn't necessarily mean crystal clear).

How rare is a amethyst? ›

Amethyst is still mined in abundance in Brazil and other locations, so in general, it is no longer considered to be a rare commodity. However, there are varieties of amethyst that are exceptionally rare. The highest grade of amethyst is called Deep Russian and these amethysts are extremely rare and valuable.

What does amethyst crystal look like? ›

Amethyst is a purple variety of quartz.

It is part of the hexagonal crystal system. Amethyst is a semiprecious stone with a vitreous or glassy luster. It often comes in shades of violet and purple. The meaning of Amethyst is spiritual healing, calmness, and wisdom.

Is amethyst safe in water? ›

Generally speaking, amethyst is considered a water-safe gemstone because of its 7 rating on the Mohs Hardness Scale.

Does amethyst attract love? ›

Amethyst is another well-known crystal that can attract and promote love into one's life, as well as provide protection to the overall emotional stability in a relationship between two people. Because of this, amethyst is also regarded as a protection stone for love.

What color amethyst is most valuable? ›

The deep colors are the most valuable, especially a rich purple with rose flashes. Amethyst that either a weak or a light color or have zones of either light or dark purple colors are considerably less valuable.. The most priced amethyst are “Siberian” deep purple amethyst with red and blue flashes.

Can amethyst be in the sun? ›

All amethyst is a form of quartz, and quartz stones will lose color with prolonged exposure to sunlight.

How much is real amethyst worth? ›

What is this? Today, even at the higher grades, amethyst is quite affordable. Prices range between $20 and $30 per carat. Particularly pure pieces of the gemstone are priced at around $40 or $50 per carat.

Is amethyst magnetic? ›

The varieties of Quartz with color centers are Amethyst, Citrine and Smoky Quartz. All these gems show magnetic repulsion rather than attraction.

Is black amethyst real? ›

Is Black Amethyst Real Amethyst? Yes, black amethyst is real and actual amethyst. While the inclusion of hematite gives the stone its distinct dark colour, when looked at through a ray of light, one can actually still see colourings of dark purple and violet.

Can you find amethyst in your backyard? ›

Amethyst is much less likely to be found in your backyard than clear quartz, although it can be commonly found inside rock geodes.

How do you tell if a rock has a gem in it? ›

Surface imperfections or markings such as ridges, grooves, plateaus, pits, etching, or other defects are features that can help you identify a rough gemstone. Study the surface of the stone carefully and note any imperfections on the surface.

How do I find crystal pockets? ›

Crystal Pockets in the Soil

You can also start to dig some exploratory holes slightly uphill from where you found your crystal. Dig about 2′ deep and see what you find, if anything. Dig a few of them and if you're lucky you'll uncover at least one more crystal.

Why is my amethyst turning brown? ›

When heated to more than about 300-400°C, amethyst loses its violet color and often turns yellow, orange or brown, and then resembles the quartz variety citrine, but depending on the locality and the temperature during the heat treatment it may also turn colorless or - rarely - green.

Does real amethyst have scratches? ›

Authentic gems aren't perfect; they have imperfections within them. Color zoning should be present in your amethyst, including additional colors such as blue and white. If your stone is completely purple, chances are it's fake. As for inconsistencies present in the amethyst, you should look for scratches and cracks.

How do you recharge amethyst? ›

For charging amethyst, subjecting it to the light radiated by the full moon is a special and ideal method. Charging with the help of the moonlight happens on an energetic level. Many believe that subjecting crystals to the moonlight can help recharge their positive energies.

Is amethyst rarer than diamond? ›

The gemstone is so scarce, it is considered over 1 million times more rare than a diamond. If you want the look of taaffeite but don't want to pay for a collector's item, consider purchasing well-cut versions of amethyst in a lilac color. Though amethyst isn't as brilliant, the color is very comparable.

Do amethyst crystals grow? ›

Budding amethyst is the only block that amethyst can grow on (into its 4 different growth stages: small amethyst bud, medium amethyst bud, large amethyst bud, and then amethyst cluster).

How much is a 10 carat amethyst worth? ›

For some price context, faceted amethyst gemstones from India may sell for as little as $2 per carat where some of the material with better color from brazil will sell for $5-10/caret.

Is pink amethyst real? ›

Where Is Pink Amethyst From? As mentioned previously, pink amethyst was first discovered in the region of Patagonia, Argentina. The biggest deposit occurs in the vicinity of the El Chiquada mine. Because pink amethyst has only ever been found in Patagonia, it is considered a rare and valuable form of amethyst.

What is brown specks in amethyst? ›

Calcite appears as white crystals or flower petal shaped specks. This mineral symbolizes cleansing. Cacoxenite appears in golden, earthy brown spots. It encourages a focus on positivity and raising energy vibrations.

What does amethyst look like in a rock? ›

The color can vary from a pale pinkish violet to a dark blue-violet, with shades of red, and sometimes gray. Very often the color is unevenly distributed or even patchy, and is most intense at the tips of the crystals. Amethyst shows a weak dichroism, with the color changing from gray-violet to purple.

Is amethyst in the Bible? ›

Amethyst, Ex 28:19, 39:12, Rev 21:20 Amethyst is the third stone in the third row of the breastplate and the twelfth and last stone listed in the foundation of the New Jerusalem. Amethyst is a variety of quartz that is best known for it's rich purple color.

What god is associated with amethyst? ›

Because of its wine-like color, early Greek legends associated amethyst with Dionysus, the god of wine and pleasure. The Romans called him Bacchus.

What chakra is amethyst? ›

Amethyst is the birthstone of people born in February. The gem is associated with the crown or "bliss" chakra, which is also purple in color.

Can I shower with amethyst? ›

It's well-known for its ability to reduce insomnia and instill peace in your mind, body, and spirit. Bathe with amethyst right before bedtime and then tuck it under your pillow to ensure a good night's sleep.

Why do you wear amethyst? ›

Symbolizing strength, power and courage, amethyst is a protective stone. Furthermore, amethyst helps combat negativity of stress and anxiety, so many people meditate with it just to clear their minds of pessimism and disturbing thoughts.

Can I wear my amethyst in the pool? ›

Yes – because Amethyst is non-porous and ranked 7 on the Mohs Hardness Scale, it is safe to place in water!

Is dark or light amethyst better? ›

The finest amethyst color is a strong reddish purple or purple with no visible color zoning. Dealers prefer strongly saturated reddish purple to dark purple, as long as the stone is not so dark that it reduces brightness. If the color is too dark, an amethyst might look black under dim lighting conditions.

What is the luckiest crystal? ›

One of the best crystals that brings good luck has to be Green Jade. For centuries Green Jade has been a stone that is synonymous with luck, wealth, and fortune. This is the reason you often see Green Jade in places of businesses.

What does it mean when you lose a crystal and find it again? ›

If you do find the crystals again, it means that you needed a little break from the crystals' energy and you are now ready for its good vibrations once again.

What does it mean when someone gives you amethyst? ›

This pink crystal is thought to encourage connection and love with others and oneself. Amethyst. Amethyst is said to offer protection, humility, spiritual wisdom, and stress relief.

Can you find amethyst in your backyard? ›

Amethyst is much less likely to be found in your backyard than clear quartz, although it can be commonly found inside rock geodes.

How can you tell if an amethyst is real? ›

An Amethyst gem that is one solid color is most likely fake. Real Amethyst stones will have color zoning including shades of white and blue along with purple. A real Amethyst gem won't have any bubbles but may have threads and impurities beneath the surface. Amethyst is one of the most popular gemstones.

How much is amethyst worth? ›

For a gem which was once regarded as precious as Sapphire, Amethyst is very affordable, even at the higher grades. Prices for high quality cut stones are typically in the range of $20 to $30 per carat, with particularly fine pieces around $40 per carat.

Is amethyst safe in water? ›

Generally speaking, amethyst is considered a water-safe gemstone because of its 7 rating on the Mohs Hardness Scale.

Is amethyst in the Bible? ›

Amethyst, Ex 28:19, 39:12, Rev 21:20 Amethyst is the third stone in the third row of the breastplate and the twelfth and last stone listed in the foundation of the New Jerusalem. Amethyst is a variety of quartz that is best known for it's rich purple color.

Does amethyst attract love? ›

Amethyst is another well-known crystal that can attract and promote love into one's life, as well as provide protection to the overall emotional stability in a relationship between two people. Because of this, amethyst is also regarded as a protection stone for love.

What rock is worth money? ›

Jadeite is the most expensive mineral, or rock, in the world at this time. Price per carat for this costly gem is three million dollars a carat! Jadeite's beauty and rarity are what makes this rock so pricey.

How do you tell if a rock has a gem in it? ›

Surface imperfections or markings such as ridges, grooves, plateaus, pits, etching, or other defects are features that can help you identify a rough gemstone. Study the surface of the stone carefully and note any imperfections on the surface.

What beach rocks are worth money? ›

The Top 10 Valuable Beach Stones in the World Today
No.Beach StonesPrices (per carat/piece)
1.Chrolastrolite$44,000 per carat
2.Agates$10-$1000per carat
3.Peridot$50-$400 per carat
4.Puddingstone$7-$224 per piece
6 more rows

What color amethyst is most valuable? ›

The deep colors are the most valuable, especially a rich purple with rose flashes. Amethyst that either a weak or a light color or have zones of either light or dark purple colors are considerably less valuable.. The most priced amethyst are “Siberian” deep purple amethyst with red and blue flashes.

How much is a 1 carat amethyst worth? ›

Today, even at the higher grades, amethyst is quite affordable. Prices range between $20 and $30 per carat. Particularly pure pieces of the gemstone are priced at around $40 or $50 per carat.

Can amethyst be in the sun? ›

All amethyst is a form of quartz, and quartz stones will lose color with prolonged exposure to sunlight.

Is black amethyst real? ›

Is Black Amethyst Real Amethyst? Yes, black amethyst is real and actual amethyst. While the inclusion of hematite gives the stone its distinct dark colour, when looked at through a ray of light, one can actually still see colourings of dark purple and violet.

Is amethyst rarer than diamond? ›

The gemstone is so scarce, it is considered over 1 million times more rare than a diamond. If you want the look of taaffeite but don't want to pay for a collector's item, consider purchasing well-cut versions of amethyst in a lilac color. Though amethyst isn't as brilliant, the color is very comparable.

Do amethyst crystals grow? ›

Budding amethyst is the only block that amethyst can grow on (into its 4 different growth stages: small amethyst bud, medium amethyst bud, large amethyst bud, and then amethyst cluster).

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