This is a definitive guide to purple gemstones for crazy gem fans. In this article we will talk about the color purple itself and the most precious purple gemstones we can find in nature, their characteristics, meanings and how they inspire us the wearer as well as the jewelry designer for creativity. Okay now let’s deep dive into the guide to purple gemstones.
Amethyst as one of the most popular purple gemstones
- affordable: $ 7- $ 21 per carat as per the quality
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Main component of amethyst are silica, hardness 7, specific gravity 2.65, and refractive index 1.54-1.55.
Viewed from different angles, natural amethysts show a beautiful purple tone with a little blue or red, due to such minerals as iron and manganese. We can also find amethysts in lilac, red, crimson and light or dark purple, among which dark purple and red are the best.
Amethysts usually have natural ice cracks or white impurities too, produced in volcanic, pegmatite, limestone or shale caves.
Amethysts are widely distributed in nature, and the main production areas include Brazil, Russia, South Africa, and Madagascar.
Meanings and powers of amethysts
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In Greek culture, the amethyst is the symbol of the God Frey, associated with sacral kingship, virility and prosperity. It is said that the stone can transform sexual vitality into spiritual vitality and therefore plays a great role in solving sexual problems and finding suitable mates.
In the past, the amethyst is also used as a stone to deal with a hangover, decorated in men’s jewelry and clothing, and as a lucky gem too, especially for performing artists.
The ancient Romans used to perform rituals, in the month of February, to cleanse sins and pray for undead; therefore, the amethyst, as the birthstone for February, was regarded as a symbol to prohibit adultery, prevent destruction and maintain honesty and reason.
In real life, amethysts symbolize tranquility and safety and are able to bring inspiration and wisdom to the wearer.
Another implication of the stone is love, as mentioned above, a very helpful gem to increase charm and attractiveness and thus promote relationships.
In summary, we can think of amethysts as a stone of mystery, romance and elegance.
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Chalcedony: moderate pricing, mainly reddish or dark purple
affordable: $ 2- $ 100
Purple chalcedony mainly presents themselves as reddish purple and dark purple. Among them, deep reddish purple chalcedony with no impurities are top grade. The crystal of the stone is opaque to translucent, with a hardness of 6-8 and a specific gravity of 2.581.
Chalcedony colors vary depending on its components, categories including purple chalcedony, onyx, light chalcedony, red chalcedony, and green chalcedony, etc. All are very popular!
Meanings of purple chalcedony
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Chalcedony is said to be a symbol of the moon and has a close relationship with water, and therefore helps prevent accidents, especially water-related ones.
The ancient Romans believed that wearing chalcedony could avoid evil and prevent the invasion of witchcraft. Therefore, it is a lucky stone for people who travel frequently, keeping the wearer safe and helping them deal with negative energy.
Chalcedony is able to eliminate depression, fear and hysteria, and other sad emotions. This stone also helps the wearer to get rid of unnecessary material things that have nothing to do with spirituality, and therefore reduces burdens in the brain.
Purple chalcedony especially can increase spirituality and the wearer’s ability to predict the future.
Diamond: the hardest and the most expensive material ever
The diamond is a clear, strong, impressive gem with a classic and timeless aura. This precious and expensive gem has an unmistakable presence and commands attention in all forms, even “in the rough”; when cared for properly, polished and allowed to show its many facets, it elevates into something rare and completely unique.
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Diamonds are forever: the symbolism of a diamond
The chief allure of a diamond, from antiquity to present, is that a diamond is “forever”. Diamonds found naturally typically are aged from one to three billion years; their journey to your finger has taken them from the deep earth to the most high-pressure environments impossible.
Diamonds are famously used in settings as engagement and wedding rings, a practice that can be traced back to the ancient Romans and their belief that wearing a diamond on the left hand could ward off evil powers and bring victory and good fortune to the wearer.
Naturally, when declaring your eternal love, you want to ensure that no evil powers can come near them!
Besides their purported mystical uses, diamonds are widely known as the hardest material ever discovered by humans, and subsequently the diamond symbolizes the unbreakable durability of a bond.
Pricing and values
Naturally, there are different gems for different price points. In 2019, it was estimated that the diamond jewelry industry brought in $80 billion USD. Your diamond may contribute a varying amount to this based on its 4 C’s as well as market trends in your area.
In general, the larger, clearer, more colorless and finely-cut the gem is, the more expensive it will be. For example, for a 1 carat diamond, you can expect to pay between $4,000 and $9,000 (the average price is around $5,500), depending on its qualities and origin. Diamonds are definitely one of the most expensive purple gemstones.
The value of a diamond is not only monetary, but sentimental. The allure of a diamond is rooted in our human psyche, dating back millennia in our love affair for something that outlasts civilizations.
Fluorite: ancient, colorful yet too soft
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A long history
The mining and excavation of fluorite originated in the ancient Egyptian period, when people widely used fluorite to make statues and carvings in the shape of sacred beetles.
During the ancient Roman period, fluorite was widely used in the production of wine cups and vases as a valuable stone. The ancient Romans even believed that fluorite wine cups would make people never drunk.
During the Neolithic period, the Heimudu people in China too had chosen fluorite as decoration.
Really colorful yet usually too soft to be used in jewelry
Fluorite is known as “the most vivid gemstone in the world” because of its rich and vivid color and smooth and flawless crystals.
However, because of its low hardness, it cannot be used as jewelry under normal circumstances. However, it can be used to carve ornaments relatively easily due to its soft texture, when there are large enough crystals. This mineral, as one of the most special purple stones, is very popular among collectors. Good quality fluorite can fetch very high prices.
Garnet: broad color variety and affordable price
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At the most basic level, the garnet stone is a hard silicate crystal that comes in many colors, although red is by far the most common. In fact, the name “garnet” is derived from “poma granatum”, or pomegranate, as the seeds of that fruit bear more than a passing resemblance to the deep red shade commonly found in garnets.
The garnet stone is relatively hard, ranking in at around a 6.5 or 7 on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness, which runs from 1 to 10. While it isn’t as hard as a diamond, some of the harder strains of garnets are used for similar industrial or abrasive purposes. Also unlike diamonds, garnets feature no cleavage planes, which means that they break into irregular pieces when damaged or cut.
Garnet meanings: protection, healing, love and prosperity
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The garnet is primarily known as the January birthstone. It carries the warmth and well wishes of health, safety, and protection that garnets have carried throughout history. A garnet birthstone is a way of wishing a long, safe, and healthy life for the new child.
Garnet also symbolizes love. Since garnet was a gift to the goddess of sunshine by the god of the underworld, people believe that it is a sign of the emotional connection. Therefore garnets become a symbol of love and is usually given to loved ones during dates or in wedding anniversaries.
Jade: most prized gem in its green variety but purple works too
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Jade is an ornamental mineral known for its beautiful green hue. This gem can be formed from one of two minerals, nephrite and jadeite. Jade has been used for centuries in China, as it is thought to bring good fortune. It has a hardness of 6.0-7.0 on the Mohs scale of hardness while nephrite is slightly softer, ranging between 6.0-6.5.
Jade is most prized gem in its green variety, however, it can be also found in red, pink, black, white, brown, and purple. The gemstone has a luster that most would describe as “greasy,” which is not normally found in other gems.
This gemstone is common in China, New Zealand, Russia, Switzerland and North America, normally speaking, in metamorphic rocks which are associated with subduction zones.
Although jade is used in a lot of jewelry, it is more commonly used in cultural and spiritual art pieces.
Jade is approximately worth over $3000.00 USD per ounce, making it far more valuable than gold.
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Meanings of Jade
It has been long believed that jade provides its wearer with enhanced clarity, wisdom, and intuition. For this reason, jade pendants have long been worn as protective talismans.
Kunzite: romantic fairy tale sponsored by Tiffany
- high and steadily increasing prices: $100-700
Kunzite is a transparent pink purple lithium-containing mineral, hardness 6.5 – 7 (Mohs hardness scale), specific gravity: 3.18, a variance of Spodumene.
Such precious purple tones were discovered in California in 1902 and named after George Frederick Kunz, Chief Gemologist in Tiffany & Co, who first described the gem in 1802.
Kunz described these tough pink purple gemstones as follows: These purple gemstone have two most prominent features. One is that it can emit diamond-like phosphorescence.
After being exposed to the ultraviolet rays of the sun, if we move it to a dark room, we then can clearly observe this kind of light change; the second is pleochroism, which means this stone shows different colors when viewed from different angles.
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Tiffany is the main contributor to the popularity of Kunzite.
After being introduced to Tiffany by Kunz, Kunzite has become the top five gemstones for the brand that are as popular as Morganite and Tanzanite. Since then Tiffany has launched many classic jewellery works including Kunzite, such as the famous Bird on a Rock, and the kunzite diamond pendant necklace specially designed for the 175th anniversary of the brand.
Kunzite is a good choice for us gemstone fans.
Apart from this irresistible pinkish purple charm, kunzite’s composition is very stable, with just the right hardness and specific gravity; in addition, kunzite has an absolute price advantage. Unlike morganite and tanzanite from the same house, kunzite’s price has always followed a steady and upward trend and the stone itself is playing an increasingly important role in Tiffany’s jewelry collection.
Iolite/ Cordierite/ Dichroite
- $ 60-150
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The word “iolite” comes from Greek, which means violet and symbolizes the color of gem-grade iolite. In addition to purple, iolite is also available in blue, light yellow, light green, and light brown.
There also exist several other names, one of which is “Cordierite”, named after the French geologist Pierre Louis Cordier, the first geologist to describe the mineral in the 19th century;
The second, “Dichroite” comes from the Greek phrase “two-color”, referring to the strong polychromaticity of such a purple crystal. For example, the polychromatic properties of purple iolite are light purple, dark purple, and yellow to brown.
In addition, it is also called “water sapphire” because it is similar to the indigo sapphire from Myanmar and often contains water.
The main producing areas of iolite are Brazil, India, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Madagascar and China.
Not only does iolite have an attractive color, but it is also quite tough and therefore is usually used as a gemstone. The translucent blue and purple iolite can be polished into a curved interface, and the transparent ones can be processed into a faceted gem.
Sapphire: mysterious, special and expensive
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- price is really high: $300- $45,000
In the colorful sapphire family, purple sapphire is a mysterious and special existence. The stone appear mostly in purple, fuchsia or violet, because it contains two metal elements, vanadium and chromium.
Just like other sapphires, the main component of purple sapphire is alumina, which has obvious dichroism. Its hardness is 9, second only to diamonds.
Purple sapphire is very rare in all sapphire series, its color is more mysterious and special and therefore the price is really high.
Under the sun or in bright light, purple sapphires that appear blue purple become more purple, and purple sapphires that appear red purple become more red, but when they appear pure purple, such feature no longer applies. By the way pure purple sapphires are really rare.
A fun fact about this stone. For light purple sapphires, the color fades if the stone gets over heated; while for deep purple sapphires the color turns into a beautiful rose in the same scenario. In addition, radiation can also be used to make the purple sapphire darker.
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In the sapphire family, purple sapphires have the least reserve and production.
Main source of such a precious gem is Sri Lanka, while in Thailand and Myanmar there exists a small amount too.
Due to the scarcity of resources and the limited number of large size natural purple sapphires, such stones are very popular in the market and prices have increased rapidly in recent years.
Generally, a purple sapphire of about 2 carats is valuable enough for collection as long as there are no obvious flaws. High-purity purple sapphires of more than 10 carats are even more difficult to find, and have a great collection and investment value.
Spinel: moderate pricing with a very wide color range
- $ 200- $ 500
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The spinel has always been a non-negligible species of colored gemstones with a very wide color range, including various shades from red, pink, purple to blue. This faint lavender color is caused by a trace amount of beryllium, and appear quite cool.
Blue and purple spinels, are mostly from Sri Lanka, produced along with sapphires.
Even famous brands such as Harry Winston uses purple spinel as the main material of high jewelry, which shows how rare and precious it is. All among all spinels, the grayish dark purple is a common species.
In addition, its price is moderate and within the reach of most enthusiasts. This is another reason why it is shining in the gem market in recent years!
Sugilite: fresh, pricey yet already exhausted
The sugilite, as the birthstone for February, is a very rare purple gemstone, mostly translucent, with a Mohs hardness of 5.5 to 6.5 and a specific gravity of 2.75 to 2.80.
It was first discovered by a Japanese petrologist Ken-ichi Sugi in 1944, and was thus named after him. Sugilites are produced in the small rock beads of boulder syenites, main components including silicon oxide, potassium, sodium, iron, lithium and other elements.
Sugilites present a variety of opaque shades of purple and fuchsia, sometimes edging to black. Among all those colors, deep purple is the most popular and typical one. We can also see sugilites in brown, pink, and black but they are hardly even rarer and hardly commercialized.
Sugilites are mostly produced in the manganese-containing regions of the Kalahari Desert in South Africa, and there also exist small mining areas in Japan and Quebec, Canada.
Although the stone has not been discovered for a long time, reports show that resources of this precious gemstone are already almost exhausted. Up till today, no other large mining sites were found.
Therefore, to protect this national treasure, the government of South Africa has severely restricted exports in recent years despite a large demand for the stone in the market, which has led to a crazy increase in prices.
Meanings of sugilites
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It is generally believed that the sugilite has a strong healing power. It is able to help relieve extreme emotions such as anger and depression, and to cleanse and purify the negative energy of the body;
The sugilite also helps the wearer to work and deal with other people kindly, humorously, and patiently in daily life, which further helps to expand interpersonal relationships;
The stone is also able to help us calm, focus, and communicate more peacefully with our minds during meditation.
Tanzanite: extremely rare
$300 to $750
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The rarest birthstone
Unlike gemstones mined throughout the globe, Tanzanite comes from a single source that is located in Tanzania, Africa and in close proximity to Mount Kilimanjaro. Even Tiffany refers to Tanzanite gems as “the most beautiful blue stone discovered in 2000 years,” which is why they so often end up in museums or being owned by avid collectors and investors.
Due to the comparative rarity of these stones and the fact that they’re relatively new to the market, Tanzanite may be harder to find than other December birthstones. These gems only hit commercial markets in the 1960s, but from the moment they debuted, they have been superstars.
Tanzanite registers 6.5 on the Mohs Hardness Scale and it is considered a durable gemstone yet still it can be scratched. It’s an ideal choice for earrings and necklaces over rings and bracelets because the stones are less likely to come into contact with abrasive surfaces that can damage this stone.
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Jewelry designers get around this by putting Tanzanite into settings “protected” by precious metals or surrounded by harder gems. If your December birthday recipient engages often in activities that impact hands, a ring might not be the best idea.
Tourmaline: love my family, love me
$ 300- $ 600
Tourmaline: the rainbow that fell into the earth
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In 1500, a Portuguese exploration team discovered a gem in Brazil that glowed with colorful neon lights. This gem hidden at the foot of the rainbow that day was therefore called tourmaline by future generations, also known as “the rainbow that fell into the earth“.
At present, tourmaline together with ruby, sapphire, aquamarine, tanzanite, emerald, is classified as precious gemstones, which is deeply loved by the public and have huge market values.
The tourmaline has bright and vivid colors like the rainbow, which gives people a happy and cheerful feeling, helps to expand their minds and horizons, and has a certain auxiliary treatment effect for curing mental illness such as depression.
Tourmalines have the most abundant colors among all kinds of gems. Thanks to its complex composition, among which iron, magnesium, lithium, manganese, aluminum and other elements can be replaced with one another, the combination and quantity of each ion directly affect the colors of tourmalines.
Meanings of purple tourmalines
The purple tourmaline, also called Siberite, is mysterious, noble, and elegant, representing an extraordinary status. It combines both the enthusiasm of red and the calmness of blue, and is often used for noble and religious occasions.
Since purple tourmalines are able to inspire creativity and bring unlimited inspirations, such gemstones are also known as the God of Inspiration.
Symbolism of purple in jewelry: born to the purple
Purple is a color that symbolizes nobility, as well as melancholy, mystery and charm, representing prestige, wisdom and elegance, a color that we can’t bear to forget.
In the past, purple was regarded as the color exclusively for the nobles. This was because the purple dyes and clothes made from them, commonly used by the Tyr in the Roman Empire, were only for the monarchs to wear, and they favored this color very much by at that time.
In the Byzantine era, emperors from the royal family would add the phrase “Born To The Purple” to his title, demonstrating his orthodox origin, as opposed to the monarch who obtained the throne by other means.
In Christian culture, purple represents the supreme power from the Holy Spirit, symbolizing sacredness, honor and love. For example, the main color of Advent (waiting and preparation for both the nativity and the return of Jesus) is purple, and in celebrations, people will accordingly use purple tablecloths and candles.
When it comes to everyday life, purple also represents eternity, typical purple tones such as amethysts, represent eternal and pure love.
Purple is also full of romance, fantasy and mystery, making people curious and feeling beautiful.
However, it also represents uncertainty, which means people who like it can be extremely sensitive and introverted. Purple is also a color commonly used to embody melancholy and loneliness. If you find that your friend is into purple recently, then you are expected to accompany her.
Conclusion on purple gemstones
Thank you for reading this article on purple gemstones, feel to share your thoughts below or check other articles on gemstones that we have published.
Related articles on gemstones by color:
- Blue gemstones: Aquamarine, Diamond blue, Indicolite or Blue Tourmaline, Sapphire, Tanzanite, Topaz blue, Spinel blue
- Green gemstones: Agate Green, Amazonite, Aventurine, Bloodstone, Emerald, Jade, Malachite, Peridot, Tourmaline Green, Tsavorites- known as Garnet green
- Black gemstones: Carbonado commonly known as black diamond, Obsidian, Onyx black, Pearl black, Sapphire black, Schorl known as Black Tourmaline, Spinel black
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Frequently Asked Questions about purple gemstones
1. What gemstone is purple?
The woorld’s most popular purple gemstones are Amethyst, Chalcedony, Diamond, Fluorite, Garnet, Jade, Kunzite, Iolite/ Cordierite/ Dichroite, Sapphire, Spinel, Sugilite, Tanzanite, Tourmaline.
2. How much does a purple gem cost?
Pricing of purple gemstones depends very much on color, origin, cut, treatment, carat weight, and clarity. You can find affordable purple gemstones such as amethyst at $ 2- $ 100; there are also rare and expensive purple gemstones, for example, purple sapphire $300- $45,000 and diamond $4,000 – $9,000 per carat.
3. What do purple stones mean?
Purple is a color that symbolizes nobility, as well as melancholy, mystery and charm, representing prestige, wisdom and elegance, a color that we can’t bear to forget.
As a consequence, purple gemstones embody romance, fantasy and mystery; on the other hand, they also represent uncertainty, which means people who like such gemstones can be extremely sensitive and introverted.