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Quartz (variety: Amethyst)

Quartz is one of the most abundant minerals in the Earth’s crust. It is composed of the elements silicon and oxygen and in its pure state is colorless. Small amounts of various impurity atoms can produce a range of colors in quartz. Amethyst, the most valuable gem variety of quartz, is purple. Just a few atoms of iron replacing some of the silicon will cause the purple color. This amethyst gem is an intense vivid purple with red flashes. Most gem amethyst is found in Brazil and Uruguay; however, this amethyst was mined in Madagascar. It is the first amethyst gem from Madagascar in the National Gem Collection.

Image Number: Ken Larsen
Catalog Number: G10557
Weight: 9.95 carats
Gift of Thomas Cushman , 2008
Locality: Andapa , Madagascar


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