How to Tell if Amethyst Is Real?
If you’ve been looking for an amethyst crystal recently, you may have noticed that there are many fake amethyst crystals in the market. For this reason, you may be wondering how to tell if amethyst is real.
There are different ways you can determine whether the amethyst you’re going to buy is real. These include analyzing the gem’s clarity, color, and cut, finding out about the gem’s origin, and thinning about the price. It also helps to know what the best amethyst is.
How to Tell If Amethyst Is Real
There are several strategies you can use to determine whether the amethyst gem you want to buy is real amethyst. By doing the right tests with the amethyst, and thinking about other factors such as the vendor and cost, you will be able to determine its authenticity.
Look at the Gem’s Clarity
One of the ways you can determine if your amethyst is real is by checking its clarity. The amethyst gem is usually eye-clean, which means that there usually aren’t any big inclusions within the gem. To do the test, hold the gem up to the light.
Then, look through it. Do you see any materials inside the gem that you can make out with your naked eye? If you see any strange discolorations or bubbles within the gem, then chances are it’s fake.
Look at the Gem’s Color
The color of amethyst is usually violet or purple. However, some gems also have a hint of red in them, though the main color is still purple. Brightness can also vary. Some gems are so dark that they almost look black, while others have a light purple hue.
Considering how much amethyst color can vary, it can be difficult to determine whether the one you’re looking at is a fake.
However, now that you know what amethyst generally looks like in terms of color, you can know what to watch out for. When you have a real amethyst in your hand, its color should vary within the gem itself.
Additionally, when you hold it up to different amounts of light, the color should change. If you try out these tests and the color doesn’t change or isn’t varied, you may be looking at a fake amethyst gem.
Keep in mind that the gem shouldn't have as many colors as a gem-like mystic topaz.
Look for Inconsistencies or Imperfections in the Gem
Color zoning is a term in the gem industry that means that a gem has a color that is unevenly distributed throughout. This is an inconsistency, but it’s not a bad thing: it’s something you should look for when analyzing your amethyst gem.
Authentic gems aren’t perfect; they have imperfections within them. Color zoning should be present in your amethyst, including additional colors such as blue and white. If your stone is completely purple, chances are it’s fake.
As for inconsistencies present in the amethyst, you should look for scratches and cracks.
To complete this test, looking with your naked eye might not be enough. This is because, when the amethyst value is high, the amethyst sellers will have done their job to actually make these imperfections and inconsistencies less visible.
For this reason, you should use a magnifying glass to look for these signs that the gem is real.
Look at the Cut
Amethyst appears in a variety of cuts. Usually, when you buy authentic amethyst, these shapes include hearts, squares, and pear shapes. It’s easy to cut amethyst, so when analyzing the gem cut into these shapes, check that it’s polished and smooth.
Another common shape for amethyst is the round shape. Many jewelers will cut real amethyst that has imperfections into this shape because it hides them.
For this reason, you need to analyze the gem even more carefully when it’s this shape. Ask the jeweler if you can take a look at the gem with a magnifying class.
Then, do what you did in the prior steps covered in this article, looking at the gem’s color and clarity and looking for imperfections and inconsistencies. If they vary, then you’ve got a real amethyst gem in your hands.
Test the Specific Gravity of the Gem
This process will take slightly longer than the other ones, but it’s worth doing if you really want to be sure of the authenticity of an amethyst gem. When you’re testing for the gem’s specific gravity, what you’re determining is whether its density is the right number.
With a real amethyst gem, the specific gravity number is somewhere around 2.65. To measure your gem’s specific gravity, you’ll need a scale, a beaker, and some water.
To get started, put the beaker on top of the scale. Then, write down how much it weighs. Next, put the amethyst on top of the scale and write down its weight.
After this, you should put some water into the beaker (filling it partially). Write down the amount of water that’s in the beaker, using the measurements on the side of the beaker.
Next, put the amethyst in the water. When the water rises, write down how far up it goes into the beaker.
Then, subtract that number from the number you had originally for the amount of water. This number represents how much water has been displaced by the gem.
After this, you’ll take out the gem. Then, empty out the beaker and put in the amount of water that the gem displaced in the last step. Weigh the beaker.
Then, subtract that amount from the weight you wrote down for the beaker when it was empty. This way, you’ll have the weight of the water itself that was displaced.
Finally, you’re ready to calculate the amethyst gem’s specific gravity. Divide the amethyst’s weight (which you wrote down at the beginning) by the displaced water’s weight.
This number should be close to 2.65. If it isn’t, your amethyst gem is likely fake.
Get a Lab Test
While you’d have to pay for a lab test, this is one of the most effective ways to ensure that your amethyst is real. When you send your amethyst off for a lab test, they can find out if your amethyst originally came from a geode. If it’s authentic, it will have this origin.
Test the Hardness of the Gem
Another test you can use is the hardness test. When it comes to gems, their hardness ranges between 1 and 10. Amethyst’s hardness level is 7, which means that it won’t get scratched by any gem or object that has a hardness that’s lower than 7.
You can use everyday objects or your fingernail to test your gem’s hardness. Because your fingernail has a hardness level of 2, if it scratches your gem, it’s likely to be a fake.
You can also use a steel blade, which has a hardness level of 6.5. If it scratches your gem, then you may have an inauthentic gem in your hands.
Ask Questions About the Gem’s Origin
When you’re buying amethyst, you can ask questions about the gem’s origin. If the seller doesn’t want to answer your questions, then this is a red flag. Even though this isn’t a guarantee that the amethyst is fake, it probably is.
When you ask about the gem’s origin, it helps to be aware of where amethyst usually comes from.
Usually, amethyst comes from the Carolinas, Colorado, and Arizona. Outside of the US, it can come from Canada, Namibia, South Africa, and Brazil.
If your amethyst doesn’t come from one of these places, it doesn’t mean it’s fake. However, you should ask for a lab report. This way, you can be sure it’s authentic.
Think About the Price
Generally speaking, amethyst can be pretty inexpensive. If you’re buying it from a jeweler, you can pay as little as $20. If you find a jeweler that’s selling the amethyst for less than this amount, this is a red flag.
Many people selling amethyst will purchase fake amethyst, after which they advertise an amethyst cost that’s incredibly low. They’ll trick you this way because you’ll think you’re getting a great price.
But in reality, you’re being ripped off because you’re buying a fake amethyst. To avoid this problem, don’t buy any amethyst that costs less than $20.
Watch Out for Strange Names
Some stores will give purple sapphires and synthetic stones names that make you think you’re buying real amethyst when you aren’t. Strange names to watch out for are Bengal Amethyst, Lithia Amethyst, Desert Amethyst, and Japanese Amethyst.
If you’ve come across any of these stones, don’t buy them. They’re like to be fake amethyst gems, and you would be wasting your money.
The Best Quality Amethyst and Amethyst Grades
In addition to understanding how to tell if amethyst is real, it’s important to understand what the best quality amethyst is. Even if you already know the answer to the question, “What is amethyst?” it helps to know how amethyst grades impact amethyst quality.
The highest-quality amethyst has the amethyst grade Natural AAAA. The top 10% of amethysts that are natural get this rating. They have a brilliant cut, look clean to the naked eye, and have a color that’s dark purple.
When you buy this type of amethyst, you’re usually buying it from Rodeo Drive or 5th Avenue jewelers.
Because it’s so close to flawless, it can be hard to find imperfections in this type of amethyst. However, if you’re buying it from a quality jeweler, you can rest assured knowing it’s high-quality.
The next amethyst grade level is Natural AAA. This includes the natural amethysts that make up the 20% and 30% below the top 10%. Inclusions are slight to moderate, and the color is closer to medium-dark purple.
The vendors who sell this grade of amethyst are usually family jewelers or leading independent ones.
Finally, there’s Natural AA. This is a broader grade, containing the top natural amethysts within the 50% to 75% range. Usually, their inclusions are heavy or moderate, and the color is light or medium purple.
When you buy this type of amethyst, you’re usually buying it from smaller family-run jewelry shops or mall jewelers.
Need More Information?
Now that you’ve learned about how to tell if amethyst is real and how to find the best quality amethyst, you might need more information. Maybe you want to learn about how to find out whether other gems are real.
Or maybe you want to find out about the best jewelry types that go with amethyst. Whatever information you need, we can help. At Philophrosyne, we’re experts when it comes to jewelry.
We also sell jewelry and can help you design a personalized ring. To find out more about how we can help you, contact us now.