What Is Amethyst Worth? Amethyst Price & Valuation
Amethyst for Gemstones And Jewelry
Amethyst is the most popular semi-precious gemstone used in jewelry due to its deep purple coloration, hardness and relatively low price point. Only a small portion of the total amethyst mined each year goes into making faceted stones for jewelry.
With amethyst gemstones, coloration (hue, tone and saturation) is everything. Amethyst ranges in color from light, pinkish-purple to deep purple. Generally the darker the more valuable. Siberia was once the source of the finest amethyst gemstones. These stones featured a particularly deep purple color with flashes of red and blue. Today the term “Siberian” is a trade name that is generally used to refer to amethyst with those characteristics, no matter where they are mined.
Unlike diamonds and rubies where gemstones get exponentially more expensive the larger they are, the price of amethyst gemstones increases gradually with size. This is because unlike those other gemstones, amethyst is typically found as larger crystals so the size of the raw material isn’t a constraining factor. Typically with amethyst, the labor that goes into faceting the stone is going to represent the bulk of the price of the cut gemstone.
For some price context, faceted amethyst gemstones from India may sell for as little as $2 per carat where some of the material with better color from brazil will sell for $5-10/caret. “Siberian” amethyst prices can go up substantially from there.
Amethyst Crystals, Clusters & Geodes
Amethyst is extremely popular for decorative and ornamental purposes. Larger crystal clusters and geodes are relatively common and can be quite stunning. The bulk of these larger amethyst clusters used for decoration are mined in Brazil and Uruguay from very extensive basalt flows. These two countries alone account for about 5,000 tons of amethyst production annually, the bulk used for decorative purposes. Geodes up to a foot across are not particularly rare, though single geodes up to 20 feet across have been found and are considered rare.
As with amethyst gemstones color plays a very significant role in price with darker amethyst being worth much more. The darkest amethyst clusters will sell for about 3-5 times the price of the lighter colored material. The amethyst from Uruguay tends to be significantly darker than the amethyst mined in Brazil and thus significantly more expensive.
Amethyst geodes are frequently found in large sizes, so price of geodes and clusters tend to increase in linear fashion with size, rather than exponentially. When amethyst crystals, clusters and geodes are sold wholesale by the mines in Brazil and Uruguay, they are typically sold by weight.
The size of the individual crystals on clusters and in geodes can affect the value. Typically larger crystals are more valuable than smaller druzy ones.
Crystals often become chipped during extraction or preparation of the geodes. Therefore the chipping or damage to the individual crystals will affect price.
General Aesthetics & Unique Formations
Because this amethyst is being sold for decoration, just generally how nice it looks is going to impact the pricing. Unique and attractive formations inside of the geodes such as stalactites or calcite formations can potentially make them more valuable.
When amethyst clusters and geodes are sold wholesale by the mines, these characteristics are typically combined together to grade the material (A, B, C, D, etc) and grades are sold by weight. Wholesale pricing for large quantity purchases directly from the mines might range anywhere from $10/kg to $100+/kg depending on the grade. Retail pricing will be some multiple of that.
Polished and tumbled amethyst is popular for decorative, ornamental and jewelry purposes. Much of the amethyst that is polished is known as chevron or banded amethyst. It’s not found as crystals but rather found as massive veins, often intermixed with bands of clear/white quartz. This material is much more cost effective to mine than crystals, so the raw stone is fairly inexpensive and the labor of polishing typically represents the bulk of the final wholesale price. This banded or chevron amethyst is mined extensively from many places in the world, including Brazil, India, Namibia, Morocco and Madagascar.
Mineral Collector Specimens
Amethyst is popular among mineral collectors, but often this group will value very different characteristics than someone that just wants something that looks pretty. Collectors will often look for attributes such as location, rarity, inclusions and unique crystal formations, which typically drive much of the price. A crystal from the Italian Alps might be hundreds of times more valuable than a similarly sized and colored crystal from Brazil.