Zambian Kariba Amethyst

Zambian Kariba Amethyst are beautiful, blueberry-purple gemstones, with highly desirable blue flashes, from Zambia’s Livingstone district. Representing over 90 percent of Zambian Amethyst, Zambian Kariba Amethyst is not only widely recognized for its high quality, but also the mine’s social responsibility to their local community.

Hardness 7
Refractive Index 1.544 – 1.553
Relative Density 2.65
Enhancement None


Raw Zambian Kariba Amethyst crystals are carefully sorted and graded in Zambia using stringent quality control measures to ensure they display its signature even, rich, blueberry-purple with blue flashes (a characteristic feature of some Brazilian and Zambian Amethyst), good brilliance, and an attractive luster. Zambian Kariba Amethyst also possesses an attractive, subtle color change to pink in candlelight (incandescent light).

These key quality considerations are accentuated by optimal lapidary and an eye-clean clarity, the highest quality clarity grade for colored gemstones as determined by the world’s leading gemological laboratories.

February’s birthstone, Amethyst was set into gold rings as early as 2500 BC and is a gemstone rich in myth, legend, and lore. Colored by trace amounts of iron, Amethyst is a variety of macrocrystalline (large crystal) Quartz that comes in pastel roses to deep purples. 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.


Found on every continent in varying degrees, Amethyst quality differs depending on origin, with Brazil, Madagascar, Uruguay, and Zambia the main sources.

Zambian Kariba Amethyst is from the Kariba Mine in Zambia’s Livingstone district. Estimated at producing over 90 percent of Zambian Amethyst, the mine has been in operation for well over thirty years. While the mine is mechanized, once the Amethyst veins are excavated, they are selectively hand mined by pick and shovel. Social responsibility toward their local community is at the heart of Kariba’s mining operations.

With over 90 percent of gemstones enhanced, and many Amethysts’ heated to lighter or darken their hue, Zambian Kariba Amethyst is one of the few gemstones that are totally natural and unenhanced.

Durability & Care

Zambian Kariba Amethyst is a durable gemstone (Mohs’ Hardness: 7) well-suited to everyday wear. Always store Zambian Kariba 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.

Map Location

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