Amethyst is purple quartz.   Deep strong purple amethyst is the most valuable. Amethyst can be one of the most rewarding gemstones for the price since large, vivid colored stones are very available in fine and medium range jewelry.  It is not uncommon to find very large (over 10ct.), fine amethyst pieces, so it is worth a look.

Amethyst is common at every level of quality, from rough crystals to beads and cabochons in casual jewelry, to very fine gemstones that command thousands of dollars in fine jewelry.  It is all amethyst, so when shopping it is important to understand the chararcteristics that define the different classes of quality.

The Most Valuable Amethyst:

The most valuable amethyst is a deep intense color of purple, has perfect clarity, a perfect cut, and is large in size (over 10 carats).

amethyst chips

amethyst rose de France

amethyst cabochon with good color

amethyst gemstone with a good cut

Lowest Value: These amethyst beads are small, have very poor clarity, average color, and are tumble polished rather than cut.  Amethyst like this can be found very cheaply (under $10) Low Value: This amethyst, though clear and faceted is still of very low value because of its weak color. Medium Value:  Although this amethyst has much poorer clarity than the previous stones, its excellent color compensates for it. High Value:  This gemstone is an example of the highest quality amethyst you can buy. It has a deep intense purple, a perfect cut, perfect clarity and it is over 3 carats.  An amethyst like this could cost a few hundered dollars.

7 Things You Should Know Before Buying an Amethyst

    1. Clarity: One of the most important indicators of an amethyst”s value is its clarity.  Clarity refers to the amount of inclusions, or internal flaws inside the stone.  The more inclusions there are, the less sparkly the amethyst.  Learn more about How CLARITY affects the value of an amethyst
    2. Color: The characteristic that best determines valuable amethyst from average is the intensity and depth of its color.  Although a light purple “rose of france” amethyst was also popular at one time, intense, rich vibrant shades are usually more valuable than dull pale colors. Learn more about How COLOR affects the value of an amethyst
    3. Cut: The quality of the cut of the amethyst has a large impact on its value.  Most faceted amethyst gemstones on the market have okay cuts, but it is rare tof ind a perfect cuts.  The same quality stone with a perfect cut will be worth many times the value of a medicore-cut amethyst.  Learn more about How CUT affects the value of an amethyst
    4. Size: The size of an amethyst also affects its value, though not by as much as it often does with gemstones because large peices of quality amethyst are relatively available.  Learn more about How SIZE affects the value of an amethyst
    5. Uniqueness: Amethyst often has natural color zoning inside the crystal, special patterns or inclusions that make a peice look interesting.  Sometimes to collectors or fine jewellers, such quirks give a gemstone more character and can make it more valuable.  Learn more about how uniqueness in amethyst affects its value.  See some pictures and read about how How UNIQUENESS affects the value of an amethyst
    6. Treatments and Imitations: Amethyst, especially dark amethyst is commonly the result of heat treatment. Amethyst can also be imitated by other substances such as glass.  Read here to learn about Amethyst treatments and synthetics and how to tell the difference.
    7. Meaning and Symbology: Amethyst is a very important gemstone in mythology and symbology.  Like the Amethyst Geode Cathedrals, it is used extensively for its healing and beneficial properties.  Learn more about Amethyst meaning and symbology to see if it”s something you relate to.

Below are large pictures of individual amethyst gemstones and amethyst jewelry discussed and analyzed.

amethyst trillion with a good cut This is an example of an excellent amethyst. The color is beautiful and vivid, it is well cut and very clear. If you find this amethyst, buy it.
amethyst gemstone with red flashes Here is a ring containing a nice large emerald cut amethyst with rare red flashes. This is a very fine and valuable peice of jewelry because of the beauty and rarity of the color, the excellence of the cut, good clarity and the large size of the stone.
amethyst gemstone with good color This is a nice amethyst. Most of its value is in its color. The color is deep, vivid and dynamic. The clarity could be better.
amethyst with color bands Here is an amethyst with pronounced color bands. Pronounced color bands do not affect value necessarily. But many custom jewelers and jewelry collectors value peices like this because they are unusual.
light colored pear cut amethyst This is another excellent amethyst. It is a lovely light color, the cut is very good, and it has good clarity.
amethyst heart This is a very low quality amethyst. It has many inclusions (poor clarity) and a weak color. For this reason, it was not faceted, but rather made into this cabochon. Its inclusions make it a “lower grade” amethyst, however they also make it more interesting in this peice of jewelry.
amethyst rose de France Here is an example of a “rose de france” amethyst, a very light purplish pink color. If you like rose de france, this is the kind of stone you want to buy: good cut, excellent color, excellent clarity.
amethyst with a fancy cut and color bands This is an unusual, medium quality amethyst. It is unusual and therefore interesting because of the color bands and “fancy” cut. The obvious inclusions detract from its value (poor clarity), but can also be thought to add character.
amethyst with too many facets This Rose de France amethyst is of lesser quality. It has a poor cut: an example of how too many facets can reduce the sparkle. The color is also weak and unattractive. It does however, have good clarity.
amethyst cabochon with good color These amethysts are cut “en cabochon” (smooth rounded surface and flat back). The reason they have been cut this way is that their clarity is too poor to be faceted. However, these stones have a beautiful and valuable color.
amethyst with an unusual cut These amethysts have been given a very unusual cut. Unusual cuts like these are most often found on stones in the Quartz family, like amethyst, because it is inexpensive and easy to work with.
amethyst chips This is an example of very common, inexpensive, not especially valuable amethyst. The stones are not cut (shaped), but crudely polished and made into beads. The stones are also very included (poor clarity) with weak color
high quality amethyst This is an excellent amethyst because of its perfect clarity and excellent cut (the quality of the cut is such that it reflects the maximum light). The color is deep and dark. When shopping for amethyst, this is what you look for.
amethyst with cool inclusions Here is an example of how a creative jeweler can bring out the unique beauty of a “lower grade” stone. This amethyst has very poor clarity, but the inclusions are formed in interesting patterns, that remind one of opal. They are put next to opals in a ring to accent the effect.