Crystals | Amethyst
Ah, Amethyst. Nature's tranquilizer.
Amethyst is one of the most popular crystals out there. Naturally, it's beauty has a bit to do with its popularity (just a little bit though) - the ethereal translucent gradient of purple is nothing short of mesmerizing. Below I go into a little bit about Amethyst's prevalance in history, it's uses, and some important facts about it! Good stuff to know if you're like me and aim to turn your house into a solid piece of amethyst crystal.
Uses: Drawing in spiritual energy, clarifying psychic vision, stabilizing mental disorders, amplifying spiritual energy
History & Legend
Mankind first discovered amethyst around 3000 BC. It's uses are observed in many parts of the world, with the ancient Egyptians believing it prevented the wearer from being poisoned, and Medieval Europeans sleeping with it beneath their pillow to prevent insomnia and attract pleasant dreams. Churchmen would wear amethyst in the form of jewelry to bring them greater wisdom, and divine revelations. Many cultures agree on amethyst's power to deflect evil and enhance psychic development.
Amethyst was traditionally used to ward off alcoholism, and is thought to aid the carrier in overcoming addiction, insomnia, headaches, hearing problems, and other conditions of the mind. This evolved to a more general belief that amethyst aids in stabilizing mental disorders, as well as preventing psychic attack.
Most Common Source: Minas Gerais, Brazil Hardness: 7
Chemical Family: Silica SiO2
Colors: Natural amethyst can actually range from white, purple, brown, red, and nearly black
Formation: Amethyst crystal comes from Amethyst geodes. Geodes are those big hollow formations - in this case, the amethyst would line the inner walls of the cavity. The Amethyst cavities are formed by lava gas cavities forming close to the Earth's surface (essentially lava bubbles). The cavities then are filled with a liquid rich in Silica, specifically one which contains trace amounts of iron as well. The Silica is what causes the 6 sided crystal to form, and the traces of iron are what turn the color purple.
More Fun Facts
Most Citrine available on the common market today is actually... ahem... is actually amethyst. Really disappointed as I have some citrine and... yeah... we've all been living a lie apparently. Sorry everyone!
Most amethyst crystals sold in market have also been heat treated to deepen their purple hue. This is largely due to consumer demand - but it also means that if your amethyst is a lighter shade, it may be all natural!
Amethyst is commonly faked. This is done by dying glass to look like amethyst. If it's super cheap, looks fake and/or feels fake... well...
A good way to tell if it's real is if it's colors are varying instead of solid, and if it contains flaws - which probably wouldn't be worth replicating to a manufacturer of fakes!
Sometimes when geodes are cut open, they're not dry inside - they can have water in them. References Aldrich, Kate. "How Are Amethyst Geodes Formed?" sciencing.com, https://sciencing.com/how-amethyst-geodes-formed-4913351.html. 7 August 2019. Bernardine, N. (2019). Amethyst Gemstone - Facts, Lore, History, Myths and Pictures. [online] Bernardine.com. Available at: http://www.bernardine.com/gemstones/amethyst.htm [Accessed 7 Aug. 2019].