I’ve seen a bunch of “green amethyst” (that’s how it’s being
represented online and at the MJSA show, at least). It’s a gorgeous
very pale “celery” color, extremely clear and with lovely fire. Not
at all a yellow-green, much more a very clear true green, very
slightly more toward the blue than the yellow. My guess is that it’s
something in the quartz family, but I haven’t seen anything like it
in my gemstone book (Schumann). It’s a pretty new stone, as I don’t
remember seeing any last year, and it was being promoted pretty
strongly at the MJSA show. I really like it and plan to use some,
but would like to be able to represent it more accurately. Anyone
know? I don’t have any photos yet, but could take one if need be.
Hi Karen! “Green” Amethyst is a contradiction in color, isn’t it?
Green or purple, which is it? Actually, green quartz is properly
known gemologically as PRASIOLITE. Incidentally, while Schumann’s
book has nice photographs there are numerous errors in the text. If
you are seriously into Gemology, I suggest GEMS by Webster. It is the
"Gray’s Anatomy" of Gemology and is comprehensive and accurate.
Hi Karen. Green “amethyst” is gemologically known as prasiolite. It
is a variety of quartz, actually amethyst that has been heated to
change its’ color, just as it is heated to yield citrine. Strictly
speaking, only quartz that is colored purple with modifying hues of
blue or violet by trace amounts of iron is amethyst, so green
"amethyst" is a misnomer, as is its’ other nickname, lime "amethyst."
It is the same as referring to citrine as yellow “amethyst,” or
goshenite as white “emerald.” Unfortunately, though, the name is
catching on. I say “unfortunately” because we already have more than
enough confusing misnomers in the gem industry without another one. I
still get customers with their grandmother’s smoky “topaz” fairly
True amethyst occurs when trace amounts of iron atoms are present
along with the silicon and oxygen atoms that form quartz from the
rich solutions in geologic formations called pegmatites. Basically,
the color is caused by valence electron transfers between the
silicon, oxygen and iron atoms, as they “borrow” them from each other
to complete their requirements to “own” those ions (also called free
electrons). This causes a tiny bit of energy that causes the quartz
to absorb greens, oranges and yellows, while reflecting the blues and
reds that we see as purple. When amethyst is heated properly, these
ions’ circuit around the atom is relaxed, making it easier for them
to jump straight from the silicon atoms directly to the iron atoms,
avoiding the oxygen atoms altogether. That difference in energy
charge usually results in the change of absorption and reflection
that to our eyes appears yellow.
I’ve read that most of the green “amethyst” being produced comes
from the Brazilian Montezuma deposit, and a somewhat lesser amount
from Arizona. The same geologic events that create natural citrine
(local hot springs, magma intrusions, etc.) can likely also cause the
pale green prasiolite to occur naturally, as well. Just as the tone
and saturation of color in amethyst determines how intense the
yellow-to-orange color of citrine will be after heating, there are
similar factors involved as to why certain amethysts turn that pale
greenish color when subjected to the same treatment. Apparently, the
crystals from Montezuma lend well to becoming greenish.
Thanks for your concern, Karen. Accurate representation of gem
species and varieties are extremely important to all of us in the
industry, as you well know. Don’t get me started on the CZ/zircon
debate. They’re not even close.
You are seeing prasiolite which is a green quartz. Yes it is
beautiful and being referred to as green amythyst as a clever
marketing ploy being that it comes from heat treating purple
amethyst. It does not exist in nature according to Gemstones of the
World by Walter Schumann.
Although some very small amount of green quartz is occasionally
found, the material you are seeing is amethyst from a particular
area that has been heat treated. Quite a bit of it being produced.
Also, it is possible to irradiate and subsequently heat treat quartz
from Arkansas to produce a darker celery green. The late Mark
Licinni was successful in this and there s a person in Arkansas who
is dealing in some of that old material. It’s really pretty. I’ve
had some of it for quite a while, but cut my first piece about a
month ago and was surprised at the nice color. When cut with the C
axis of the crystal perp to the tbale, the stone is dazzling!
sounds like demantoid garnet which is a variety of andradite garnet.
Mined in Russia, and California. Recent 1990’s discovery in Namibia
has produced clearer stones, some of which are bluer. Search
demantoid garnet on your computer and check out the info on some of
the sights mentioned. Has been fairly rare and pricey but I saw a
lot at Tucson also.
There is a pale green, maybe "celery green, amethyst which in the
past was made by heat treating. Today I’ve seen several other colors
in green. We are cutting a bluish green “seamfoam” and green with a
hint of yellow. I know the one is created by irradiation but the
other maybe only heating. We buy and cut parcels of rough in Brazil.
They are all a type of treated quartz.
Green Amethyst is Prasiolite or heated amethyst that turns green
instead of turning to citrine as does most heated amethyst.. Quite
a bit of it is coming out of Brasil at the moment.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Prasiolite or vermarine is a green-colored form of quartz, usually
produced by artificially heat-treating amethyst. Since 1950, almost
all has come from one small mine in Brazil. Natural prasiolite has
also been obeserved in Lower Silesia in Poland. The gem has a
refractive index of about1.54-1.553
Robert P. Lowe Jr.
Lowe Associates - Brasil
Gemstones, Rough, Specimens
I saw it marketed under that name for the first time a couple of
weeks ago it took a lot to bite my toung enough.
Most of what I’ve seen of green quartz (not having gone stone
shopping for a while) has been in piles in Chinatown where square
quartz beads on elastic have been popular and cheaper then dirt. If
the price wasn’t a tip off already the fact that most of them have a
colourless stripe where they have cut into the seedplate is a chorus
line of The Synthetic Cha-cha. I guess all I’m saying is there are
more then one source for this stuff so caveat emptor et al.
the thing I find annoying with the whole ‘green amethyst’ thing is
that if you heat treat regular amethyst, it turns yellow and you get
citrine, right? amethyst, in itself, denotes purple quartz. As
someone else mentioned, it’s a ‘marketing ploy’…people recognize
the name amethyst as a gemstone…not many would know what prasiolite
A few years ago, I did pick up a 55 pound chunk of this material,
from a collection, the story was it was found in 1960 in oregon or
washington, I cannot remember. Apparently came from a single quartz
dike that was encountered in a quarry for railroad ballast material,
only a few chunks were saved from the crusher.
It is actually a green quartz - fractures readily, has some small
gemmy areas that have an emerald green color. takes a wonderful
polish. Due to its size, the collection it came from and the
inclusion of small (0.3 mm) pyrite crystals, unlikely it was heat