Raw amethyst grows as a six-sided crystal that can also form a crystalline covering a rock. Amethyst is found inside of geodes and alluvial deposits. Manganese in clear quartz produces the amethyst, while the amount of iron present in the crystal determines the darkness of the purple color. Raw amethyst is often treated with heat that increases the depth of its color before hitting the market as a gemstone.
Raw amethyst is naturally found in lilac, mauve, purple and deep purple. The most sought after color is a medium purple with pink rose colored accents. Because amethyst is purple, it was once considered to be the favored stone of royalty. Green amethyst is not a true amethyst. Amethyst stones that are treated with heat do not fade or lose color as they age.
Amethyst has a long history of having healing properties in folklore and legend. The stone is believed to help prevent the wearer from falling prey to alcoholism, addiction, hearing disorders, headaches, insomnia and mental disorders. Wearing amethyst is also believed to help make the wearer a gentler, more amiable person. Amethyst is the birthstone for February, the star stone for Pisces in the zodiac and a talisman for Scorpios.