One thing my mom and I like to do when we get together is show off our newest jewelry acquisitions. My mom has quite the impressive ring collection, and I like to go through her jewelry box and try everything on during my visits. I’ve inherited quite a few stunning pieces of jewelry this way! On my last visit, she showed me a new ring she had recently picked up and thought I would love. She said it was a pink amethyst. Now, amethyst is my birthstone and I have a couple pieces already (and I love to drool over and try on the stunning amethyst jewelry we have here at the shop) – but I’d never seen or heard of pink amethyst before.
By definition, amethyst is a variety of quartz, found in shades of light lilac to deep purple. When the average person thinks of amethyst, it’s usually a color like the pendant below that comes to mind. So, wouldn’t “pink” amethyst be rose quartz? I decided to do some research on this “pink amethyst” to find out if it was a jeweler’s marketing trick, or if it was in fact true amethyst.
The first thing I discovered along my quest for gemstone knowledge was that there is an actual difference between “pink” quartz and “rose” quartz. Pink quartz, evidently, is more valuable than rose quartz. Pink quartz is the name given to quartz of this shade when found in crystal form, while rose quartz is never found in crystal form and is much less transparent than pink quartz. Also, pink quartz and rose quartz are found in different environments and have different care recommendations. For example, pink quartz is sensitive to light, while rose quartz is not. I knew after a few quick minutes of research that my mom’s ring was more than likely not rose quartz, as it is vary rarely found in facet grade material. In fact, rose quartz is usually sold in bead form.
The second thing I learned was that there is also a stone commonly called “green amethyst.” Green amethyst is, in fact, a misnomer for prasiolite. Prasiolite is a greenish color variety of quartz. Certain deposits of amethyst can be heat treated to achieve this color, and on rare occasions amethyst can become heated naturally within the earth’s surface, creating natural prasiolite deposits. However, most prasiolite is created by manipulating amethyst.
I began to wonder if pink amethyst, like green amethyst, was also a misnomer. While researching this possibility, I learned of a popular amethyst variety called “Rose de France.” Rose de France is the name given to the palest of amethyst, often a pastel lavender in color. It is mined in certain regions in Brazil and may contain lower iron deposits than deeper amethyst stones. Rose de France can sometimes appear pink. I wondered if this was the answer I was looking for!
While I was able to find many online jewelry retailers selling “pink amethyst,” my search for actual information on the stone was turning up dry. So, I decided to go to the expert – our own Master Jeweler Jim Stradley. He confirmed my suspicion that my mom’s stone was not rose quartz, backing up the research I did with his own knowledge. “Pink amethyst” is marketing terminology, but not necessarily a misnomer. Turns out, the Rose de France stones that appear more on the pink side are often sold as “pink amethyst.” I read some reviews on retail sites selling pink amethyst jewelry and learned that many of the customers that purchased online were disappointed to receive their jewelry and see that the stone was more lavender and less of a true pink. Turns out a few lucky customers (my mom would fall into this category) received jewelry that was definitely pink, though it seems that those are pretty rare. Now, I don’t want you to think I’m writing this to point fingers or call these jewelers dishonest (or even to discourage you from buying a pink amethyst, if that’s what your heart desires.)
This, to me, serves as a reminder to know what you’re looking for and not to be swept away by catchy marketing phrases. You should always try to find a jeweler you can trust, and be assured that if you’re buying jewelry online that you can return or exchange it if it doesn’t live up to your expectations. At Pearls International, we offer a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee and One-Year Warranty on all of our items so that you can always shop with confidence. And, if it’s a pink stone you want, you should probably look for pink diamonds, pink tourmaline, or pink sapphire, which (while they may be a little more pricey than pink amethyst) are going to be more true to color.
Pictured above: a Pearls International Pink Tourmaline Pendant.