Amethyst is a type of rock belonging to the quartz family. This stone comes in shades of purple and the name itself comes from a Greek word meaning “not drunken”. Historians believe that the name came from the reddish purple shades of amethyst popular in the Greek states.
There are two types of amethyst crystals. The first is a six sided piece that looks similar to a pyramid and the other is a crusty type with pointed ends.
Most amethyst pieces are cut into round or circular shapes. The reason for this is because the cut allows the color of the amethyst to shine through and eliminates any darker or uneven patches of color.
Amethyst comes in shades of purple, gray and even clear. Many of the colors are regional variations particular to a specific location such as the clear amethyst from Vera Cruz, Mexico.
Cut amethyst pieces are labeled or graded as Siberian, Bahain or Uruguayan. These cuts represent low grade and high grade pieces and are used no matter where the piece comes from. For example a Mexican amethyst may be labeled as Siberian depending on the quality.
Most of the amethyst used today comes from areas or regions of Mexico, Brazil, Africa and Uruguay. Experts can identify where the piece comes from based on its color and characteristics.