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A Precious Gem
Did you know that up until the 18th century, amethyst was considered among the precious gems - diamond, sapphire, ruby, and emerald? After amethyst was discovered in large quantities in Brazil, it lost some of the excitement surrounding it that the gem once had. However, the new trend is once again Amethyst! Found in Arizona in the late 70's, this state is now producing some of the highest quality Amethyst ever seen. Superior grade Arizona Amethyst is highly valued and sought after by collectors. Read on to discover more about this prized gemstone!
Which Amethyst is Most Valuable?
All amethyst is formed from the same basic structure. It is a species of quartz that is formed from silicon dioxide. Other elements, like iron and magnesium, allow for variations in the gem’s color and crystal structure. In certain regions of the world, amethyst forms with a deeply saturated violet color, with magenta overtones that come to life when the gemstone is struck by sunlight. This kind of amethyst was originally discovered deep within the mountains of Russia, and is nicknamed “Siberian” amethyst due to its place of discovery. Amethyst with the same, sought-after qualities was discovered much later, in the Mazatzal Mountains of Arizona. The mine in these mountains is now the only confirmed commercially operating mine that produces high quality “Siberian” amethyst in the world. Ironically, the best place to get Siberian quality amethyst is here in Arizona!
Unearthing the Amethyst
The main reason Arizona Amethyst is so rare is that it is exceedingly difficult to mine. Located within a nature preserve, no motor vehicles are allowed up to the mine. The miners hike up to the dig site, and spend days to weeks at a time on the mountainside. A helicopter is required to fly supplies in and take rough amethyst out. From there, the amethyst is carefully sorted for color and size, and sent to master cutters to be faceted. Finally, the finished stones are hand-selected by the owner of Sami Fine Jewelry and gemologist to be set in our jewelry. Being able to follow the timeline of the amethyst is important to us. We know the miners, the mine owner, and can even work with local gem cutters for specialty amethyst cuts! We are lucky enough to have the first pick of all the amethyst to come off the mountain, and are excited to pass the beauty on to you.
Where to Buy Quality Amethyst
Through the years, the Arizona Amethyst mine has changed hands, been mined freely, and even been looted. No doubt, you can find rough crystals from the Mazatzal Mountains online and at gem shows. But unless you buy from a reputable jeweler, you could easily be taken advantage of and told something is Arizona Amethyst, when in reality it's not. There are certain traits that almost all Arizona Amethyst has - namely, a play of magenta color. If you’re looking for high quality fine jewelry and faceted Siberian quality amethyst, Sami Fine Jewelry is the best place to shop. For over 30 years, we have worked to build the world’s largest collection of fine Arizona Amethyst. We buy directly from the mine owner to get the largest selection of high quality, untreated amethyst, and set the gems into custom-designed jewelry. With a variety of styles in both sterling silver and 14k gold, it’s easy to find the perfect piece for your jewelry collection. Shop some of our best-selling items and see the difference of Arizona Amethyst for yourself!