Amethyst

A deeply rich, purple crystal, Amethyst promotes intuition and prepares the mind for clear meditative states. It manifests creativity and can encourage sobriety in addiction while also used in connecting with spiritual or divine powers.

Amethyst Overview


Crystal Colors

Origin

Brazil, Germany, Sri Lanka, Uruguay

Rarity

Abundant

Hardness

7

Shapes

Cut, Geodes, Natural, Points, Tumbled/Polished, Clusters

Lattice

Hexagonal

Chakra

Third Eye, Crown

Energy

Amplifies

How to Cleanse

Place Under Running Water, Sage Smoke, Soak in Water, Sound Healing, Visualization

Helps with

Connection to your higher self, Stress & Anxiety

Usage Tip

Don't leave Amethyst in the sun for extended periods, as the color will fade.

Crystal Overview


Amethyst is a caring crystal allowing clarity in the mind and spirit, rest in meditative states and is conducive in healing the addictive mind. For centuries Amethyst has been held in high esteem among royalty and has roots in Brazil where it is produced in hundreds of tons. Rest is associated with the crystal so using it for sleep and relaxation is encouraged, too.

Amethyst is also a highly creative crystal. Many artists find the crystal to be inspiring in their creative process and use Amethyst to open the spirit and mind to new ideas and explorations in their art. Working closely with Amethyst in the workspace can be a cathartic experience as art is usually a meditative venture and Amethyst is a grounding, inspiring crystal that opens the mind and spirit to receiving these traits.

Amethyst Sketch
Amethyst Sketch

Amethyst History & Origin


Amethyst Map
Amethyst Map

Amethyst is highly regarded in many cultures, found by ancient Greeks and Romans to be enlightening and calming. Tales of the crystal vary, though it is a common theme that Amethyst was often regarded as a tool of wisdom in preventing excessivity in intoxication or zealousness. The sobering effect of Amethyst was a highly attractive property of the crystal to the point where some studded their wine chalices with Amethyst in the belief the crystal would protect from drunkenness.

Amethyst World Production
Amethyst World Production

In the same Catholic Bishops wore the crystal in rings to ward off evil. And it was considered that people who kissed these rings were protected and grounded in their spirituality, as well. The crystal has since been used in jewelry for centuries with the same beliefs.

Though abundant around the world, Brazil and Uruguay have the largest production of Amethyst followed by African countries, Zambia being on top.

Energy & Healing


As a whole, Amethyst is one of contemplations, intuition, and clarity. The crystal has a strong influence in easing inner turmoil and negative thinking. It is commonly used when one is seeking calming of the nervous system as Amethyst is thought to slow obsessive or persisting thoughts.

Amethyst Geode
Closeup of Amethyst crystals from Brazil.

Use in Meditation

This crystal is an assistant in meditation, collaborating with one’s spiritual and physical energies. There are a few main aspects that can make Amethyst effective while meditating:

  • A rich, calming nature that allows one to clear the mind and invite in harmony.
  • Induction of intuition, offering thoughts of affirmation.
  • Allowance for the mind and body to surrender to rest in quieting of the brain.
  • Slowing obsessive thoughts and anxieties so that one may think clearly and effectively.

Use in Sleep

Amethyst has properties that aid in easing rumination and recurring nightmares. For those with insomnia, it may be wise to place Amethyst around the sleeping area to calm down the brain and nervous system and help induce restful sleep. You can tape the crystal under your bed so that you are lying directly above it, absorbing its energies – or placing it under your pillow can be another way to ward off nightmares and encounter sleep. No matter where though, Amethyst is a great partner to have in any area of rest.

Use in Creativity

In the same as calming the brain, Amethyst can activate the creative side of the brain. Artists, poets, songwriters, and other creative souls are encouraged to keep this crystal near the workspace where their art is made. In enlightening the higher mind, Amethyst can introduce new levels of creativity and artistic expression.

  • Using Amethyst in artistic settings: For poets and writers: Place the crystal in the area of your home or office you find the most calming and conducive to writing. Try meditating with Amethyst in this space, allowing the mind to free itself of blockage and expand inventive language. In other words, you are discouraging “writer’s block!”
  • For painters and illustrators: Let the naturally occurring purple color of Amethyst inspire you. Try honoring the naturality of the crystal while allowing it to expand your imaginative work and stimulating your creativity. Keep it near canvases, brushes, sketch pads, and other tools used in creating your work.
  • For composers: Hold Amethyst when you sit to write out music. Placing it on your forehead is even more beneficial. This contact encourages the mind for clarity and inspires true statements, creating beautiful, authentic music.

Use in Addiction

It’s original Greek name amethystos meaning “not drunken,” is a testament to why the crystal is used in aiding with sobriety and protecting against addictions. Today, it is not uncommon to use Amethyst in work with healing from addiction. It has been a practice long associated with the crystal.

Amethyst Cluster
Amethyst Cluster

In times of withdrawal or craving, Amethyst can be a soothing presence. Try rolling the crystal through your fingers or rubbing it between your palms. Not only does this sensation create a distraction, but it also activates the crystal in enlightening your spirit.

Carrying Amethyst in a pocket or perhaps wearing the crystal around your neck can help stabilize your mind during the different stages of recovering from an addiction. For example, spurts of rage, irritability, or fatigue can be exhausting, but paired with the encouragement of Amethyst’s sober tendencies, you can be empowered in walking through these mood swings.

Geology & Science


Amethyst is a variety of the mineral quartz, and shares the same chemical formula of SiO₂ with other varieties of quartz including clear or white quartz, rose quartz, tigers eye, onyx, and jasper. Amethyst is most commonly purple in color, which is caused by impurities of iron or manganese in the mineral, though the color can range from very light to dark purple and can vary in hue. In order for iron-rich quartz to become amethyst, it must be exposed to natural radioactive materials within the earth’s crust as the mineral is forming.

Amethyst crystal lattice (SiO₂). Credit: WikiCommons, public domain

Gamma rays from these radioactive materials interact with the SiO₂ and iron ions, causing the iron to replace the silicon in the middle of some of the crystal tetrahedra. Because it is formed under these specific conditions, the coloring in amethyst can be unstable, and in some specimens will fade with prolonged exposure to the ultraviolet radiation of sunlight. On the other hand, because of this characteristic, the purple color of amethyst can be deepened by heating the mineral, which is a common practice to make the color of amethyst gems more brilliant.

In addition to variation in the shade of purple between amethyst samples, individual samples can also display uneven coloration. In well-developed crystal prisms the purple may be more concentrated on crystal faces, or in planes parallel to the crystal faces. These color zones typically form due to changes in conditions as the crystals grow, such as fluctuations in the amount of iron present or the temperature. In some cases when an amethyst crystal is viewed from above, looking down its long axis, the color zones will create a pinwheel effect.

Amethyst Color Zones
Amethyst Color Zones

Amethyst, along with other varieties of quartz, has a hardness of 7 on the Mohs Hardness Scale (1-10 range), meaning it can scratch a steel nail. It is harder than many other common gems, with the exception of diamonds which represent a 10 on the hardness scale, making it a durable gem for use in jewelry. Another characteristic that makes amethyst a desirable gem for jewelry is its tendency to form well-developed crystals. Most amethyst grows in short, stubby pyramidal crystals, though it can also occur as tall prismatic crystals. In some cases, these crystals will grow as scepters from a base of quartz or smoky quartz. Amethyst is also commonly found lining the inside of geodes.

Amethyst has been considered a prized gemstone since ancient times, in fact, the name amethyst comes from the Greek ‘amethystos’ meaning ‘not drunken.’ In ancient Greece, amethyst was thought to ward off drunkenness and was worn or carved into cups to protect the drinker from becoming drunk. Amethyst has been considered an important gem in many cultures and religions through the ages, from Tibetan Buddhists who considered the stone to be sacred to the Buddha and used it to carve prayer beads, to England in the middle ages where it was considered a royal stone and used in the royal regalia. Up until the 1700s, amethyst was considered one of the give cardinal, or most valuable gems, along with diamonds, rubies, sapphires, and emeralds. Since then large deposits of amethyst have been found in Brazilian mines, driving down the market value. While common amethyst he rarest and highest grades of amethyst, such as Deep Russian, are still considered very valuable.

Today most gem-quality amethyst forms in volcanic rocks, or in some cases metamorphic rocks which contain enough radioactive elements as to supply the necessary radiation to form the purple coloring. Some of the most striking examples of amethyst come from volcanic rocks where gas cavities formed during cooling, then fills in with crystal growths as silicon and iron-rich hydrothermal waters pass through. A notable location of these gas bubble amethyst growths is the Steinkaulenberg mine at Idar-Oberstein, Germany.

Other sources of amethyst include

  • Brazil
  • Uruguay
  • Canada
  • Pakistan
  • Madagascar
  • Finland

Since the 1970s amethyst has also been produced synthetically using a similar hydrothermal process that creates natural amethyst. Instead of iron and silicon-rich hydrothermal waters passing naturally through host rock, it is done in a controlled environment where conditions can be optimized for crystal growth. Synthetic amethyst has the same chemical and physical properties, but can be made to form larger or more uniform crystals or even larger blocks for carving. It can be very difficult to tell natural from synthetic amethyst. Microscopic examination of samples can give clues as to the origin, but it often takes an expert to tell the difference.

Science Contributors

Trevor Nace

PhD Geologist

Trevor Nace is a graduate from Duke University with a PhD in Geology and is a co-founder of A Crystal Pendulum. Each Geology & Science section is thoroughly fact checked by Trevor and his team.

Review


Amethyst is a richly powerful crystal, utilized well in treating addiction, promoting rest, and inspiring creativity. Layered with centuries of history, this purple crystal is a beauty both for display and daily practice.

Consider using the crystal under a pillow or next to your bed to enact it’s meditative properties, helping you sleep in a state of peace. Amethyst can help clear your mind of rapid thinking and intrusive thoughts allowing the mind and body to enter meditation and relaxation. Because of this clarity, the crystal is also known to support users through sobriety as it is both grounding and calming.

These properties are valuable in stimulating the artistic side of your brain and sparking creativity, too. Amethyst can be used with physical touch in centering and meditating on the arts while supporting the richness of the mind in creation.

All together, Amethyst is a crystal of clarity. Certainly, one to add to your collection!



Aaron Nace
Aaron Nace
Aaron Nace was born on the island Kauai Hawaii, where he spent most of his childhood chasing chickens with no shoes on. Ever since then he has held a deep appreciation for nature - from plants, animals, rocks and crystals.
View all posts by Aaron Nace

References

  • Amethyst. (2013) The Quartz Page. Retrieved June 2019, from http://www.quartzpage.de/amethyst.html
  • Amethyst. (n.d.) geology.com. Retrieved June 2019, from https://geology.com/gemstones/amethyst/
  • Klein, C., & Philpotts, A. R. (2013). Earth materials: introduction to mineralogy and petrology. Cambridge University Press.
  • Lehmann, G., & Moore, W. J. (1966). Color center in amethyst quartz. Science, 152(3725), 1061-1062.

Crystalpendulum.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC associates program, an affiliate advertising program. As an Amazon associate we earn income to run this site from qualifying purchases.