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Green Amethyst Jewelry

What is a Green Amethyst?

The word "amethyst" evokes images of gemstones ranging from pale lilac to a deep purple. However, this lovely quartz that starts out as purple can also become green. Yes, there is such a thing as a green amethyst or praisiolite.

As a member of the quartz family, this unusual gemstone has the same chemical make-up which is silicon dioxide. But, if there are certain iron compounds present in the stone, it will turn green when it is heat-treated. The practice of heat-treating stone is common in the gemological industry and it does not compromise the value of the resulting colored stone. It is still a natural gemstone. More recently, irradiation has become another technique to acquire a pale green stone from the colorless quartz. They tend to be less expensive than the heat-treated green amethyst variety and they are called green quartz.

Every stone begins as colorless quartz. The stone is irradiated slowly over time which pulls out the purple color. Then, over time, the earth heats the stone and changes the color again. But these naturally heated stones are rare and do not make up much of the jewelry such as green amethyst earrings or pendants. Because of their rarity, the abundant purple amethyst variety is simply heated to bring out the green that the iron compounds create.

This gemstone is also called prasiolite, which is Greek for leek stone. It got its name because its green color resembled the shade of the leek. However, prasiolite can range from a lime-green which displays a hint of yellow to a deep pine-forest green.

Where are Green Amethyst Found?

Amethyst and other quartz can be found all over the world. However, the particular stones that contain the iron compounds necessary to obtain the appropriate green shade are primarily found in Brazil. Zimbabwe, Arizona and mines where California borders Nevada also contain the right variety of amethyst. In fact, in many of these locations it is common to find both colors next to each other.

Praisiolite Trivia and Lore

Over the years, archeologists have discovered crude weaponry and tools made from quartz in Europe as well as Africa. Of particular importance to the ancients was its ability to create fire when pieces were struck together. Today, Boy Scouts might utilize the same technique when camping in the woods. Of course, no one is suggesting they try this with mom's praisiolite earrings!

Mystical Properties of the Green Amethyst

These powers include opening up the mind as well as the doorway to the spiritual world. Perhaps because of the green color, it is also supposed to bring prosperity by enhancing decision-making abilities, emotions and will power. Because it is derived from a purple amethyst, it is fitting to note the special powers of that stone as well. The amethyst is supposed to prevent drunkenness and addiction. It is also used to alleviate conditions such as sleeplessness, migraines and mental problems. As a mood enhancer, it is supposed to calm the mind and even out the psyche. Feelings of love and peace are enhanced as are psychic abilities.

Like all quartz, green amethyst also has magnetic properties that can be turned on through heat or friction. This is why quartz is a common component in timepieces and electronics. Because of its hardness, it is also used as an abrasive component in many materials. The building industry uses a lot of products that contain quartz such as paint, cement, glass and porcelain. Even the optical industry uses this versatile and multi-talented mineral in diagnostic equipment for eye doctors. Of course, the gem grade green amethyst would not be used in this industrial capacity. Scientists grow quartz in the laboratory specifically for use in electronic components and watches.

Is Praisiolite a Birthstone or not?

Officially, the green amethyst is not a birthstone for any particular month. But, since it began its life as an amethyst, it could be used instead of the purple stone as a birthstone for February. Green amethyst pendants could also be an alternative to purple as a 6th wedding anniversary gift.

But, because of its unique color and brilliance, it is special for anyone who loves the gemstone. It is particularly popular among collectors. With the start of the lab irradiation process, the less green quartz is finding its way into a lot of designer jewelry creations.

Caring for Green Amethyst

Quartz is a tough stone and it ranks a 7 on the Mohs scale of hardness. This makes green amethyst durable and an excellent gemstone for making jewelry. To clean praisiolite, a soak in warm soapy water should be enough to take off the grime of everyday wear. If not, it is ok to use an ultrasonic cleaner to knock the residue off. However, be careful about exposing the pieces to extreme temperatures. This is true for any type of heat-treated gemstone.

The green amethyst comes in a range of green shades from pale lime to rich deep shades of green. This unusual gemstone can seamlessly go from fresh and fruity summer wear to bold darker winter wear. And, green amethyst pendants look lovely in gold or silver settings depending on the shade of the stone. While they are beautiful, emeralds and peridot are more expensive than the green amethyst. So, with a more affordable price, it is easy to own several pieces for everyday wear and every season.