How to Identify a Natural Amethyst  2010-09-21 15:05:14  Popularity Index:0  Source:Internet

Natural amethysts are fairly rare in the world of retail jewelry, where most colored gemstones are heat treated at the very least to improve color, shine and clarity. It can be very difficult to discern differences between natural and treated amethysts that have already been cut and polished, so you may simply decide to purchase a raw amethyst and have it custom cut and designed yourself. However, this can be extremely expensive, so you may elect to simply take your chances with your own personal investigative abilities and the help of a trusted jeweler.

Look for the crystals. If you are looking for amethysts in nature, then you should look for large, purple or violet crystals. However, if you are examining stones that are ready to be cut, you can also learn a lot from the shapes of the crystals. Many amethyst mines produce unique crystals that may be clear on the inside and purple on the outside or create a prism effect when light is shined through them. These can be indications that a stone is natural and mined rather than grown.

Inquire about the origin of the amethyst. If a jeweler can tell you where a gem was mined, it increases the likelihood that the jeweler also knows something about the history of the gem in the following months. While many retail jewelers working on commission may tell you whatever you want to hear about a stone regardless of what they actually know or do not know to be true, a salesperson who can actually produce information about the stone's history is more likely to know what they are talking about.

Look for flaws. Although interior flaws in colored gemstones are generally not that big a deal, they can be a good indication as to whether a gemstone is natural or fake. False stones will be flawless, whereas a natural stone will probably have some inclusions. These will be unlikely to affect the look of the stone on the surface since flaws in colored stones can sometimes even enhance sparkle and shine, but they are a good indication that the stone is, at the very least, mined rather than grown.