Today we will be talking about different types of amethyst, the different places it comes from, and how to tell them apart.
Where Is Amethyst Found?
So to start, we’re going to talk about where amethyst comes from globally. There are two no-worthy locations that we’re going to discuss today. The first one is thunder bay, Ontario in Canada, and the rest is from Brazil.
What Are The Different Types Of Amethyst?
The first major deposit that we will discuss is Brazilian amethyst. It is the most common amethyst you’re actually going to find in any commercial setting.
Mining in brazil is done as you would expect, it’s a hole in the ground, and the miners will have to go into that hole and either excavate by hand or blast by dynamite to access that amethyst.
The way that amethyst is grown in brazil is a geode. So they’re nice little balls, and then the miners have to open them up to see the amethyst inside.
It’s a surprise every time they find a new piece. It’s like Russian roulette. Is it going to be pretty？ Is it going to be dark? Is it going to be full of inclusions? There’s always a wow factor every time one is opened up.
These amethyst geodes can come in a variety of sizes. They can be as small as the fist up to meters and meters long. These geodes are where the amethyst deposits come out.
If they’re big, they’ve often broken apart into smaller pieces where you’re gonna get your chunks. If it’s a nice small piece that’s manageable, a lot of times, it will be taken out in one whole piece, it’ll actually be sewn in half, and it’ll be shaped, which is called an amethyst cathedral.
Thunder Bay Amethyst
The other major deposit we’re going to talk about today is from thunder bay Ontario Canada. The mine in thunder bay is a lot different than you would think.
In thunder bay, it’s called surface mining. So they’re grinding out the surface of the earth as the deposit isn’t very deep, it’s grown in what’s called a vein, so it’s a long strip of amethyst as opposed to these little geode pockets all throughout the earth in different areas.
How To Tell Different Types Of Amethyst?
We’re going to look at the physical differences between the amethyst. If you’re looking at a piece, you can tell which one you have from which deposit.
To start, we’re going to look at that thunder bay amethyst. Thunder bay is well known for its red amethyst. They call this typically phantom rove, but there is one mine that has the name that they call auralite 23.
So auralite 23 only comes from one mine, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get it from another mine and it will be the identical product as many of these mines are back to back. Sometimes not even a kilometer apart. So just because it didn’t come from the specific mine that named it or auralite 23 doesn’t mean it isn’t.
This phantom rove amethyst is only on the surface, the red of the amethyst is only on that top surface.
If you look at the side, it’s actually all purple amethyst on the inside, and just that top outer layer, the last deposit as the crystal grew was an extra layer of hematite that caused this red color.
You won’t be able to tell the difference between these two mines by the size of the points, as both mines have larger points. That is not one way that you can tell the difference.
It would be hard to tell if it wasn’t for this red which mine it came from. But the matrix is going to tell you the difference between the mines.
From thunder bay, because it’s that long vein of amethyst as opposed to the little geodes, we get a lot more diversity in the actual matrix, so the matrix is the part below the amethyst. And this part will tell you a lot. So in the vein, you’re going to get a lot of diversity of bits, this is full of different pieces of quartz, and then we got some different sediments mixed in. It gets choppy and jumbled in this vein.
Moving to the Brazilian amethyst. You can see it’s much cleaner because these are individual pockets. Brazilian amethyst is typically just quartz underneath the amethyst. You can find a variety of different colors of what is on the outside of the geode. And the inside isn’t always quartz, you can also find agate. But it is actually grown in the same way.
Another type of amethyst that you typically see coming out of brazil is chevron amethyst. Chevron amethyst is a beautiful type that comes in triangular shapes where you will see these ups and downs.
Conclusions On Different Types Of Amethyst
Color can be a hard factor to tell the difference between the two minds, as both minds will get this nice rich purple color. However, in the thunder bay mine, some have some diversity of that lovely red color. So when you’re trying to tell the difference, your main factor is that matrix underneath the stone. I hope you enjoyed the fun facts on amethyst that we covered.