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Amethyst Heart Pendant

Of all quartz varieties, amethyst is the most prized. According to Roman mythology, amethyst was colored purple by the god of wine and was thought to offer protection. The gem derives its name from the Greek word meaning "not to intoxicate." It is now known that just a few iron atoms replacing some of the silicon in quartz causes the purple color. Natural radiation from surrounding rocks where the quartz crystals grew changed these impure atoms into a special form of iron (Fe+4) that absorbs all colors of light except blue and red, which are reflected back to our eyes as amethyst's purple color. The heart-shaped amethyst is mounted in a diamond pendant and weighs approximately 96 carats.

Image Number: 95-40210
Catalog Number: G5273
Weight: 96 carats
Mrs. George M. Morris , 1973


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Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History Department of Mineral Sciences website Credits