Uruguayan Amethyst is a rare, deep purple gemstone from Artigas in northern Uruguay, an acclaimed Amethyst source with a famous pedigree. Some of the very best Amethyst available, Uruguayan Amethyst is coveted for its spectacular beauty and is highly valued due to its rich color and durability.
Refractive Index 1.544 – 1.553
Relative Density 2.65
Uruguay by both history and practice continues to yield some of the world’s finest Amethyst. Uruguayan Amethyst’s beauty is primarily determined by color with the most valuable gemstones being deep toned, transparent, pure purple with desirable blue and/or red flashes.
Our Uruguayan Amethyst displays an even, deep purple color with blue and red facet flashes, good brilliance, and an attractive luster, key quality considerations that are accentuated by optimal lapidary and an eye-clean clarity, the highest quality clarity grade for colored gemstones.
Uruguayan Amethyst also displays an attractive color shift (a color change where the two colors are near each other on the color wheel) from purple in sunlight or candescent light, to pink in candlelight or incandescent light. Experiencing high global demand, Uruguayan Amethyst is extremely limited in this quality.
February’s birthstone, Amethyst was set into gold rings as early as 2500 BC and is a gemstone rich in myth, legend and lore. Derived from the Greek ‘amethustos’, which means ‘not drunk’, Amethyst is mythologically associated with Dionysus (Bacchus), the Greek god of wine, and was once fashioned into talismans and goblets to prevent intoxication. If you fill an Amethyst goblet with water, it does look a lot like wine, so perhaps this legend has a grain of truth after all. Long before Roman emperors donned the bright purple ‘toga picta’, pharaohs, kings and queens made purple a potent symbol of sovereignty. From the signet of Cleopatra, an Amethyst engraved with a figure of Bacchus, to the Amethyst necklace of Queen Charlotte, wife of George III of England, Amethyst will forever be linked to fashion, prestige and power.
Colored by trace amounts of iron, Amethyst is a variety of macrocrystalline (large crystal) Quartz that comes in pastel roses to deep purples. Other large crystal Quartzes are Lavender Quartz, Mandarin Citrine and Ouro Verde Quartz.
Found on every continent to varying degrees, Amethyst quality differs depending on origin; Uruguay is the premier source, Brazil remains a prolific producer, while Madagascar and Zambia are the main African sources.
The benchmark for top quality Amethyst, Uruguayan Amethyst’s deeper colors command higher prices due to their comparative rarity. Representing the top two percent of production, our Uruguayan Amethyst comes from a geode (hollow crystal lined spheres) deposit located 31 kilometers south of the town of Artigas in northern Uruguay. With over 90 percent of gemstones treated, Uruguayan Amethyst is one of the few gemstones that are not enhanced.
Durability & Care
Uruguayan Amethyst is a durable gemstone (Mohs’ Hardness: 7) well-suited to everyday wear. Always store Uruguayan Amethyst carefully to avoid scuffs and scratches. Clean with gentle soap and lukewarm water, scrubbing behind the gem with a very soft toothbrush as necessary. After cleaning, pat dry with a soft towel or chamois cloth.