Therapeutic properties

What is the difference between amethyst and alexandrite?

Stones such as amethyst and alexandrite have a reputation as “widow stones.” And all this is due to rumors and superstitions. It is believed that they bring misfortune to owners of jewelry with these stones. In order to understand where these speculations came from, you need to know the history of these stones.


This amazingly beautiful gemstone is a valuable variety of chrysoberyl and is in the same price category as diamonds, sapphires, emeralds and rubies. It is characteristic of him unique ability to change colorlike a chameleon, being under different lighting angles. It has the sad fame of the widow’s stone only in countries that were part of the former Soviet Union. In the twenties of the last century, synthetic alexandrite began to be grown in the USSR, and jewelry made from it was available to most Soviet women. During the Second World War, most women lost their husbands at the front, becoming widows. After this, thanks to human prejudices, it was believed that owners of alexandrite risk becoming widows.

Alexandrite properties

In many countries of the world, it has a positive reputation: its merit is considered to be assistance in overcoming life’s difficulties, helping to achieve success and stability in love relationships. Natural alexandrite, due to its positive energy, gives peace to people with changeable moods, helps improve the functioning of the brain and circulatory system. It is believed that the color of the stone reflects the mood of its owner, his state of health and is capable, like turquoise, of changing color to dark red in case of illness of his owner. Gamblers believe that wearing alexandrite jewelry attracts good luck and can help in obtaining fabulous wealth. Business people believe that this stone helps to keep a clear head when making decisions during business negotiations. Astrologers, in turn, recommend alexandrite as a talisman for such zodiac signs as Aquarius, Pisces, Gemini, Scorpio and Leo. In their opinion, it helps its owners maintain mental balance, helps achieve mental improvement, helps in the development of creative abilities, and in achieving their goals. In general, this extraordinary stone is considered the stone of people with strong character. If, due to various superstitions, a person is afraid of alexandrite, then it is best to receive jewelry with it as a gift. It is believed that he can do no harm, if, for example, you wear more than one ring, but pair it with earrings with alexandrite. Well, widows and widowers can wear only one piece of jewelry as a sign of memory of their deceased husband or wife.

Origin of the name, place of production

The first mention of alexandrite was recorded in 1834. In the emerald mines of the Ural deposit by Count L.A. Perovsky discovered a stone very reminiscent of an emerald. But when they looked at it in the evening, with additional lighting, the emerald suddenly changed its color to red, which surprised eyewitnesses a lot. It became clear that a new stone had been discovered, which needed to be given a new name. Since its discovery coincided with the birthday, and more precisely, with the coming of age of the heir to the Russian throne, the future Emperor Alexander II, it was decided to name it “Alexandrite” in honor of the Tsarevich. Alexandrites of Ural origin have the greatest value on the gemstone market. Their color is green-blue and they are considered the most beautiful. Stones mined in Sri Lanka, or in another way Ceylon alexandrites, have a deep green-olive color. During the day, alexandrite usually has a green-blue color, and in the late evening it changes color to shades from red, crimson to red-violet. Alexandrite is mainly mined in the form of small transparent crystals. The largest druse of alexandrite, weighing 5,38 kg, consisted of twenty-two crystals, and was discovered in one of the Ural deposits in 1840. The hardness of alexandrite on the Mohs scale (from 1 to 10) is rated at 8,5, which is a very high indicator, since the highest hardness of a diamond is rated at 10. Jewelry with alexandrite, due to its high cost and rarity, is very expensive. Usually, alexandrites are set in gold, and often in jewelry alexandrites coexist with diamonds, emeralds and pearls. Together they make a simply amazing impression! Fans of emerald and ruby ​​will especially appreciate jewelry with this stone, as it changes its color from emerald during the day to red in the evening. Currently, the alexandrite deposit in the Urals is depleted. As a rule, alexandrite is found in the same places where emeralds are mined. Its main deposits are located in Tanzania, Brazil, the USA, Thailand, Sri Lanka, and Madagascar.


Like alexandrite, the very beautiful amethyst stone shares with it the glory of the “widow’s stone”. But unlike its brother, amethyst belongs to the quartz group and is a semi-precious stone. Amethyst – homogeneous translucent crystal without specks, predominantly purple in color. Its name is of Greek origin, and translated means “sobering.” In Ancient Greece they believed that thanks to this stone a person retains clarity of thought and does not get drunk. Amethyst is preferred by people who do not want to start a family:

  • Widowers and widows who decide not to tie the knot after the death of their beloved spouse. That is why amethyst is considered an attribute of widowers, a “widow’s stone,” a symbol of selfless love. If, after some time, a widower develops feelings for another person, it is recommended to remove the amethyst jewelry from himself in order to prevent the new love from fading away.
  • It is also worn in the form of a ring by clergy and monks who have taken a vow of celibacy. Since the Middle Ages, Catholic bishops have worn rings decorated with amethyst on their hands.

Superstitious people The following qualities are attributed to amethyst:

  • It is considered an amulet of hunters and brings success to participants in sports tournaments.
  • With its help, you can arouse love for the one who gave it. In the Middle Ages, this “quality” of his was actively used to win the feelings of another person. Therefore, married women strictly monitored the gifts that other women gave their husbands, since they believed that with the help of amethyst, the husband’s love would be replaced by indifference.
  • The stone promotes peace, helps in various conflict situations, puts in order a disordered nervous system, and weans one from harmful addictions. In general, amethyst is believed to share its good energy.
  • People who believe in astrology consider it a talisman for those born under the constellation Sagittarius.

In ancient times, amethyst was especially revered by the Egyptians and Jewswho considered it God’s providence. Nowadays, yogis use it to open the “third eye.” In India, amethyst is still considered one of the very powerful family amulets: it is believed that thanks to it the family becomes stronger, love and prosperity will reign in it, it is recommended as jewelry for pregnant women to protect against the evil eye.

Amethyst is a purple-colored variety of quartz. This stone occurs in the form of crystals formed into druses – minerals growing in the form of prisms from a common base.

Since ancient times, amethyst has been considered an amulet that protects against the harmful effects of alcohol. From Greek “amethystos” is translated as “non-intoxicating”, and in Rus’ it was believed that this stone helps to maintain a clear mind, regardless of the amount of alcohol consumed.

Amethyst is mined in Russia (in the Urals and Siberia), Brazil, the USA, and Mexico. There are known deposits in Sri Lanka, Madagascar, and India. The most valuable are specimens of rich purple and violet-red colors; some stones have a lilac tint. The darker the stone found, the more likely it is to be cut, and light-colored stones are most often cut into cabochons.

The color violet has a mystical meaning, which is why amethyst has long enjoyed the attention of esotericists and healers. It is believed that it can give love and treat addictions, eliminate emotional disorders. Many stone experts are sure that if amethysts were not so common in nature, they would be more expensive than diamonds.

Ring and earrings “Goldfish”

What is offered under the guise of amethyst?

Imitations and counterfeits of amethyst are a common occurrence in the jewelry market. For example, violet glass may be passed off as a precious mineral. However, a professional can easily distinguish them with a magnifying glass.

Example of amethyst made of glass

Plastic and other minerals that are cheaper but look similar to amethyst can be used as material for making counterfeits.

Example of amethyst made of plastic

You can often find synthetic amethysts, the chemical composition of which is identical to natural ones. Professional gemologists will be able to distinguish a natural stone from an artificial one, but even the average person can see the difference.

Differences between artificial amethyst and natural one

Artificial stones cannot be called fake, but it is useful to know their differences from natural ones, because laboratory samples are often passed off as natural.

A laboratory-grown mineral is distinguished by rich color and ideal transparency, while natural nuggets contain some impurities (inclusions) and are often quite light. It turns out that the more “perfect” the stone and the more similar it is to glass, the higher the likelihood of chemical origin.

Another characteristic feature of artificial amethyst is that upon close examination it gives the feeling unnaturalness, life is not felt in the stone. In addition, synthetic specimens are constantly falling in price due to the growth of the market for industrial stones, therefore, artificial specimens have no investment value.

There is an original way to check the origin of an amethyst. It is enough to immerse the stone in water – if visually the edges of the mineral become pale (lose color), then most likely it was born in the bowels of the earth.

Checking the authenticity of amethyst at home

There are several ways to determine the authenticity of an amethyst at home. It is necessary to take into account the properties of the stone, after analyzing which one can draw conclusions about its naturalness. First of all, you should pay attention to the signs visible to the eye. The appearance of natural stone is characterized by:

  • the presence of a “natural”, not too bright color
  • slightly uneven color
  • various impurities, cracks, air bubbles
  • hazy, medium level of transparency

Color of the stone in the light

The color of natural stone should not change depending on the lighting; it should retain its shade in both daylight and artificial light. The exception is ultraviolet light: under the influence of such lighting, natural stone becomes absolutely transparent, and artificial stone only in places.

Stone strength

The hardness of amethyst on the Mohs scale is 7 – this means that this mineral is harder in its properties than many types of steel. Therefore, natural stone will retain its texture, uniformity and integrity for many years, because it will not be scratched by everyday dust or sand.

Ring and earrings “Trembling feelings”

Thermal conductivity

Natural amethyst has low thermal conductivity, so it heats up slowly. Such a stone, unlike a fake, will remain cool in your hands for a long time.

You can clearly see the difference if you hold a real and fake amethyst in your hands at the same time: the fake stone will become warm very quickly.

Checking under a magnifying glass

Armed with a 10x magnifying glass, you can carefully examine the amethyst and draw conclusions about its authenticity.

In a natural specimen, curved grooves, that is, growth lines of the stone, should not be visible. If they are present, this indicates that the amethyst is of artificial origin or that this is a fake.

Looking at natural stone, you can see uneven coloring. This is explained by the fact that the gem consists of individual crystals, light and dark. A solid, even color indicates the synthetic origin of the sample.

Amethyst under a microscope

Professional inspection methods

In laboratory conditions, you can reliably study the nature of the stone and make accurate conclusions about authenticity.

For these purposes, the method of spectral analysis and x-rays are used. For example, with their help, you can find impurities of goethite in amethyst, a mineral that is necessarily present in natural quartz, a variety of which is the purple gem.

When purchasing precious stones, do not forget about formal verification methods, study documents and all accompanying information. Each product must have a passport with information about the manufacturer, the characteristics of the metals used and their purity. It is also necessary to have a conclusion about the authenticity and quality of the stones.

At the request of buyers, the Maxim Demidov jewelry house organizes an independent examination of stones at the leading gemological center – at the faculty of Moscow State University. M.V. Lomonosov.

Ring and earrings “Magician”

You can buy jewelry with natural amethyst in the Maxim Demidov catalog. Their authenticity and beauty leave no doubt – before you are real masterpieces of jewelry and the creativity of nature itself.

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