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Semi Precious Gemstones
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Marc, Thank you so much! You may have thought it took longer than expected but we thought it was quite expedient. Thank you for continually confirming for us our decision to purchase from Africa Gems. This has been a wonderful transaction. We'll be here all day so as soon as it arrives I'll let you know. Happy Valentine's Day, Jennefer P of San Deigo CA (bought custom emerald ring & band)

I'll put them in the mail today. I want you to know that I really appreciate how amenable you have been. Your A+ rating is exactly right. I will continue to do business with you when I have other needs. My sister has also been checking out the site for sapphires based on the excellent service I received. Thanks again, Jim W.of Bangor MI (bought loose emeralds)

Will do! I'm in Denver on business until Saturday. I'll get it shipped out ASAP upon my return - next Monday most likely. Thank you for all of your help. Especially your guarantee and return policy. Made purchasing the gem online much more comfortable. Ironically, my jeweler also loosely knew your father and had a very good opinion of him. Thanks again Marc! Doug M from Camarillo CA (bought loose blue sapphire)

Marc, Your fantastic customer service makes it easy to support AfricaGems! Looking forward to surprising my wife with the Onyx ring. Regards, Michael S. from Boise ID (bought onyx diamond pendant)

Hi Marc, So far I'm very happy with the sapphire I purchased. My plan is to mount it in a tanzanite ring that I have (the tanzanite is very light in color and I've never been happy with it which is a surprise since it's also a Levian purchase). The setting has two sides with the stone suspended in between. I think the light will catch it magnificently! Thanks for checking on my order! Rita K. from Garland TX (bought Chatham emerald stone)

Hi Marc, Just to let you know that the stone was delivered today. Pitty it is dark now so can not see the true stae, but I am happy to see it here with the certs!I hope to do business with you again in the future! Thank you for you help, patience, Regards Wim D. of Dubai (bought loose oval alexandrite)

the rings have arrived they are absolutely stuning ! i thank you with all my heart and i pay no duties thanks to you THANK YOU VERY MUCH I HAVE NO WORDS TO THANKS !! Mencaglia A of Bucharest Romania (bought two blue topaz diamond rings)

Dear Marc, I just received the four turquoise gemstones that I had ordered. They are beautiful. I am very happy with the quality and will be ordering some more gemstones soon.Thanks Baljinder K. (bought loose turquoise gems)

Marc, I just wanted to let you know that I received the ring today and it’s beautiful, she’s gonna love it! Thank you again for all you’ve done. I was concerned about ordering something liker this over the internet but you’ve made this entire process very easy and your communication with me has been outstanding. Everything was exactly as you described it…perfect! David M. of Atlanta GA (bought custom Alexandrite diamond ring)

I received the Tsavorites Friday and I was stunned with the quality of the stones I received. I was worried about ordering calibrated stones without even having a picture of the exact stones I'd be receiving, but you didn't disappoint. The description said to expect some yellow, I didn't detect any yellow at all, if anything I picked up on a slight hint of blue which is very desirable. Anyhow, I had them set today, they hold their color and are bright in even the worst lighting. Thank you! Greg R. of St. Paul MN (bought Tsavorite gemstones)

Thank you for inquiring about the possible upgrade. The ring is too beautiful to jeopardize its integrity. I now will know the next time to use the chart when ordering. It is amazing how it changes color according to the light source. Thank you again, Lisa M. of Spokane WA (bought custom chatham alexandrite ring)

Again, beautiful quality. Am relieved they finally got here! Thanks for your help Cheers, Sonia R. of Tasmania (bought loose citrine gems)

Hi Marc, I received the alexandrite. The quality exceeded my expectations. Your stone was much nicer than anything that I saw locally. You got a repeat customer! Michelle R. of Chicago IL (bought loose alexandrite) My son delivered the stone and Denice was thrilled! Thanks Marc….a loooong road but all ended as we wanted Thank you for following up Michael D. from Naples FL (bought loose spessartite garnet)

The aquamarine stones arrived yesterday. Lovely color, as are all stones I have received from Africa Gems! They are already set in gold earring mounts and in my ears. Love them! Thank you! Renny B. from Province MA (bought loose aquamarines)

Marc, The ring is magnificent! Well worth the wait. Betty is very happy. The full cut diamonds make a world of difference and show off the alexandrite very nicely. I can't thank you enough for your excellent sales and service. --- If your up to it, I have another job for you. Eugene M from Albany NY (bought custom alkexandrite ring)

Hi Mark, I received the ring today and can not express enough how happy I am with it; great quality and design; it is exactly what I was looking for. Thank you, P.S. gummy bears was a cute touch, Bianna F. from Staten Island NY (bought quartz diamond ring)

Ok no problem. Thanks again for being so great. You have really helped to make a great experience for both of us. Brendan G. of St. Paul MN (bought heart shape blue sapphire)

Marc, The ring is great! We always wanted those alexandrites to stay together, and the bypass ring was the perfect solution. It's always a pleasure to work with you. Your attention to customer satisfaction and quality workmanship are first rate. Thanks, Eugene M. from Albany NY (bought custom alexandrite diamond ring)

Marc, I received my replacement alexandrites today and I absolutely love them. They are perfect. Thank you so much for your quick response, attention to detail and wonderful customer service. Doing business with Africa Gems has been a lovely experience and I look forward to doing business with you in the future. God bless. Lisa L. of Dover PA (bought loose alexandrite gems)

Received ring, sharp. Weird how the cognac diamonds make the silver look gold. Good job. Might have just made a sale for u with the ups man! She is gonna love it. When the shirt man gets my shirts made i will shoot u one out. Mark C from Birmingham AL (bought custom silver diamond ring)

Hi Marc, I hope you remember this ring, one year and a bit later, thought I'd send you some pics. It truly is gorgeous! My baby girl is a May flower, I'll be getting her something in the future! Thanks again! Cheers, Natalie B. of London UK (bought alexandrite diamond ring band)

Hi Marc The jewelry & gems have arrived. Well.....what can I say....Holy Sh... Absolutely stunning! Janetta is in her own little Nirvana! Now she will really bankrupt me! A great big thanks Karl K. from Manitoba Canada (bought many gems)

No worries, I'm thrilled with your service and the quality of gems.I will definitely be back whenever I need more! Thanks much, Rob G of Gary IN (bought loose aquamarines)

The purchase i made was well worth it , i bought a band had it put in the band and asked my girl friend to marry me. She said yes . Thanks again Paul H. from Charlotte MD (bought white sapphire gemstone)

My alexandrite ring was way beyond my expectations. It’s absolutely beautiful and I truly love it. I have waited a long time to get an Alexandrite ring. Well worth the wait. The service was outstanding and the quality was outstanding. Paula L. from Bethesda MD (bought large alexandrite diamond platinum ring)

What is The Color of Amethyst?
Royal, luscious, vivid, rich, vibrant, seductive, alluring?? All these adjectives and more describe the purple color of an amethyst. Amethyst is a quartz gemstone that is incredibly rich in the violet / purple color; color ranging from light lavender / lilac, often referred to as “Rose de France” by the gemstone trade through a deep bluish purple with flashes of red or pink, a color which some gemstone dealers used to call Siberian or Russian amethyst. Once you have seen one of the best deep color amethysts, you will never forget it and you will most likely covet the one you saw if you didn’t buy it when you saw it. Wear one of these deep purple beauties with a raspberry colored outfit and the complements just won’t stop coming or wear one of the “Rose de France” lavender beauties with a lavender outfit and everyone will be sure to note your fashion sense.
Amethyst Gemstones Throughout History
The color purple has been long associated with the higher echelons of society and with the ecclesiastical world for thousands of years. Some date the use of amethyst back to Biblical times. It has been said that Moses said that amethyst was a symbol of the Spirit of God and it was listed as one of the twelve gemstones in the High Priest’s breastplate where it representing one of the twelve tribes of Israel. We believe it was first mentioned in the ancient story of the Exodus from Egypt by the Israelites. We know that the ancient Egyptians carved amethyst intaglios, some of which are in museums to this day. Sumerians and Babylonians as well as the Egyptians were said to wear amethyst amulets for protection. Throughout many Christian sects, amethyst rings were traditionally worn as a sign of rank and many of the clergy believed that amethyst helped to bring the faithful to God. Many also thought that only the very highly spiritual and moral were worthy of wearing amethyst. The ancient Chinese often stored spices, balms and healing ointments in carved amethyst bottles.
Price of Amethyst Gemstones
Until sometime in the 18th century, amethyst was primarily for those of wealth. Many included in the list of most valuable gemstones along with diamond, sapphire, emerald and ruby. Some of the most prized amethyst came from the Ural Mountains of Russia. But discoveries of large deposits of amethyst in Brazil and other countries caused amethyst to lose much of its value and its elite status. But that doesn’t mean that amethyst isn’t valuable because it is. It is one of the most popular gemstones available at affordable prices.
Amethyst Lore and Mystical Properties
Probably the most well-known mystical “attributes” of amethyst is that it is supposed to protect one from drunkenness. Many ancient wine goblets were carved from it for that reason. It seems that amethyst got its name from the Greek word “amethysotos” which roughly translate to “not drunken”.More Mystical uses of Amethyst Stones
The list of mystical uses goes on to include soothing anger, helping when the wearer is catching wild animals and birds, protects against excesses of passion, brings good luck, promotes meditation, relieves mental strain and fatigue and so much more. For those who really believe, it is even supposed to be a remedy for wrinkles, warts, moles and even freckles. It is supposed to protect a soldier from wounds of war, evoke love, help one become prudent, help someone become more confident and it was said to cure stuttering. How about bringing about sweet dreams or give wisdom? Amethyst is supposed to foster friendship and harmony, help with diseases of the liver and kidneys. The list is quite extensive and we haven’t included all the wonderful mystical attributes here because of the length of that list.
Amethyst is A Modern and Zodiac Birthstone
The modern and ancient birthstone for those born in February and it is the zodiac birthstone for those born under the sign of Pisces.How To Evaluate Amethyst Gemstones and Amethyst Valuation
While it is true that amethyst is a quartz gemstone, it is unusual in that the crystal structure is different than its quartz gemstone cousins. It is most often found as crystals lining geodes - think an egg or almond shaped outer rock that that is basically hollow and when cracked open it reveals a lining of amethyst crystals. Some of these geodes can be very large. For example, the Empress of Uruguay is reported to be eleven feet tall and weighs in at two and a half tons. A newly discovered amethyst geode reportedly weighs in at around 14 tons. Brazil recorded the most famous amethyst deposit in Rio Grande del Sol, where a monster deposit of amethyst was discovered in a cavern - think absolutely huge geode that is so huge it cannot be dug out of the ground. It measured over 30 feet in length and 15 feet in width and was completely lined with gem quality amethyst crystals.
Color and Color Zoning in Amethyst
Amethyst is almost always found with color zoning or color striations. Rarely are even the best quality amethyst gemstones without any color zoning. Expert gemstone cutters cut the gemstone material in such a way that when mounted the color zoning disappears. One of the most beautiful of the color zoning gemstones is known as ametrine and is a bi-color gemstone that is part citrine (a golden color) and the violet / purple of amethyst. 99% of the commercial production of ametrine comes from only one mine in the entire world. Then there is the heat treated “green” amethyst. Purists will advise you that amethyst is purple and that “green” amethyst is technically called Prasiolite. No matter what you call it, green amethyst (prasiolite) is a beautiful member of the amethyst / quartz family. Amethyst can be heat treated to make an orange brownish colored gemstone that is known as Citrine. While citrine can occur naturally most citrine is heat treated amethyst or smoky quartz.Qualities of Amethyst
As stated above, the best quality amethyst will sometime be called “Siberian” or “Russian” amethyst. This is because the best quality amethyst was originally found in the Ural Mountains of Russia. The amethysts from those mines were a deep uniform purple with magenta highlights. Those mines have been depleted and are no longer being mined but the names stuck as a way for the gemstone trade to indicate the best color of amethyst. Amethyst is mined around the world with the best quality coming from Brazil, Uruguay and Madagascar but beautiful amethyst is also mined in the United States na North America, South Korea, Austria, Zambia, with one of the largest producers being the mines in Zambia.
How To Judge Amethyst Quality
Hue – The best hue for an amethyst is in the 75% to 85% purple range with the remaining 15% to 25% secondary hues of blue and red. That said some people prefer the lavender color range (hue) rather than the purple range. The lavender colors will typically not have the secondary hues.
Tone – The best tone (light and darkness) for amethyst is in the 75% to 85% range. Above 85% the amethyst will be too dark (almost black). That said some people prefer the much lighter lavender color range. Saturation – When thinking about saturation think brightness of the hue. In spite of being a purple color, which most people would consider a dark color to begin with, the best amethyst should be vivid on the saturation scale. One should look for a vivid purple with no brown / grey mask.
Amethyst Color Grade Chart
Clarity – Amethyst is a Type II gemstone and may contain some inclusions. By nature, the color of purple may mask the inclusions, but if one prefers the light lavender amethyst any inclusions will be more evident to the eye so one should look carefully to ensure as clean a gemstone as possible.
Cut – Amethyst gemstones are cut into just about every shape, including those cuts considered fancy cuts. Lighter hue / tone amethysts (60% to 70% hue / tone range) are very well suited to the fancy cuts because one can see the facets (cuts) cuts more easily than with the darker hued / toned amethysts. The darker hue / tone amethyst gemstones are most frequently cut in the traditional shapes like oval, round, princess, heart shapes, etc.
Carat Weight - Amethyst being quartz and quartz being one of the most common gemstones available amethyst can easily be found in larger sizes. It is not unusual to find 20+ amethyst available for use in jewelry. Even in the largest carat weights, it is an affordable gemstone. Amethyst Treatments – Amethyst is typically heat treated to improve the purple color. This treatment is permanent.
Hardness – Amethyst is a 7 on the Mohs scale and is very suitable for everyday wear in jewelry.
Amethyst Imposters and Synthetics – While there are synthetic amethyst produced, it is typically not used in jewelry as natural amethyst is so readily available. Occasionally one might find purple color glass being used in less expensive costume jewelry.

Learn More About Genuine Amethyst Gems
Resources About Natural Amethyst Gemstones

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