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Amethyst is part of the quartz mineral family. It was a valuable gem until the discovery of large deposits in South America in the late 1800s. Brazil is the primary exporter to this day, although it is common in many countries. Still, its deep and attractive color makes it extremely popular. Amethyst is a transparent gem, lilac to deep purple in color. The deeper the color, the more valuable it is. The most common enhancements are heat and irradiation. Try not to expose an amethyst to excessive amounts of bright sunlight, as this can fade its color.

In some legends, amethyst represented piety and dignity. It is also supposed to bring peace of mind to the wearer, and if properly carved, prevent fatal poisoning. Perhaps the most unusual magical power ascribed to the amethyst is its ability to prevent drunkenness.

Amethyst is the birthstone for February.


Color Pale lilac to deep purple Amethyst
Description The most precious form of quartz, amethyst receives its color from iron and manganese. Durable, with a Mohs' hardness rating of 7.

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