By Beth Pernerewski
Amethyst is a variety of quartz known for its distinctive purple color. The word amethyst has come to represent both the gemstone and a color, much like turquoise. Amethysts occur in a variety of purple colors ranging from light to almost opaque and can also be a reddish purple. The purple color comes from trace amounts of iron in the growing quartz crystal. After crystallization, the iron is irradiated by gamma rays from radioactive materials within the host rock to produce the purple color. There are large deposits of amethysts in South America and Africa and they can be lab grown as well.
Amethysts were one of the most highly prized stones in the ancient world and were thought to prevent drunkenness. Though there is no scientific evidence that amethysts have healing powers, many people see them as a “healing stone” and think they promote calm, balance and peace.
Amethysts are enjoyed today around the world in a wide variety of jewelry, including these earrings. Amethyst is the 33rd wedding anniversary gemstone and the birthstone for February. So if you are celebrating a special occasion or if purple is your signature color, you’ll be able to incorporate amethysts into your everyday look.