amethyst buying guide - intricate cut
amethyst buying guide - intricate cut

Amethyst Buying Guide


Long valued for its purple color and symbolic associations, amethyst is a versatile gem. Our amethyst buying guide can help you pick an excellent stone.

3 Minute Read

Amethyst Buying and the Four Cs

The IGS amethystvalue listing has price guidelines for faceted and cabbed gems.

With a hardness of 7 and lack of inclusions, amethyst makes a durable stone fit for any gem setting. Combining versatility and beauty, amethysts make excellent choices for jewelry or decorative pieces.

Color

Amethyst receives its purple color from its iron content and natural irradiation under the Earth's surface. Transparent gems are abundant. While high-quality amethysts aren't difficult to find, exceptional specimens are still rare.

As with other colored gemstones, hue, tone, and saturation factors have the most impact on cost. A high-quality amethyst will show even color, without visible zoning. Amethysts range in color from light, pinkish purple stones to deep grape hues.

Siberian Color

The most highly valued amethysts are "Siberian quality." This term no longer refers to the stone's origin. Rather, gemologists use it to refer to stones that exhibit red and blue flashes on deep purple color.

Darker Gems

Consumers generally favor darker stones, ideally with 75-80% tone. Secondary blue hues, up to 20%, add depth to the gem. Secondary red hues may be present under incandescent light. Their presence indicates a truly exceptional...


Addison Rice

A geologist, environmental engineer and Caltech graduate, Addison’s interest in the mesmerizing and beautiful results of earth’s geological processes began in her elementary school’s environmental club. When she isn’t writing about gems and minerals, Addison spends winters studying ancient climates in Iceland and summers hiking the Colorado Rockies.

Never Stop Learning

When you join the IGS community, you get trusted diamond & gemstone information when you need it.

Become a Member

Get Gemology Insights

Get started with the International Gem Society’s free guide to gemstone identification. Join our weekly newsletter & get a free copy of the Gem ID Checklist!