Amethyst is a beautiful purple gemstone that is often regarded as the most desired variety of quartz. It is recognized as the birthstone for the month of February and is symbolic of both the 6th and 17th wedding anniversaries. Historically, the color purple has been known to represent royalty, so it should be no surprise that this gemstone can be seen in a variety of royal possessions.
Natural amethyst will often range in color from a gray to strongly saturated violet or a red-purple color, the most popular of which is a strong purple or reddish-purple with no color zoning. Heat can also change the color of amethyst, which can occur naturally or in the form of a treatment to make the gemstone a more desirable color.
It is also a fairly durable gemstone – rated a 7 on the Mohs scale of hardness, making this elegant purple variety of quartz popular for jewelry. However, it is best kept stored in a jewelry box or somewhere dark when not being worn, as exposure to direct sunlight for long periods of time can cause fading or changes in color.