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  • Misleading gem listings

    I have just about had it with sellers misleading their buyers (intentionally or not) with regards to "Ametrine" and "Green Amethyst".

    Herewith below info on Prasiolite / Green Amethyst - there was a listing on today's Crazy auctions which is clearly misrepresented, yet the unsuspecting buyer is duped once again!

    Courtesy of GemSelect

    Green Amethyst

    Prasiolite Gem

    From time to time we get email asking us whether we sell something called green amethyst. Since amethyst, by definition, is the violet to purple shade of quartz, there is really no such thing as green amethyst. The term "green amethyst" makes as much sense as "red emerald" or "yellow ruby." Some gemstone varieties are simply defined by their distinctive color.

    Having said that, clearly the customer is in search of something that someone told him is called green amethyst. What is it? Where does it come from? Does it have anything to do with amethyst?

    What the customer is looking for is something known by gemologists as prasiolite. The name comes from the Greek for "leek-green." Prasiolite is a golden green quartz, somewhat similar in color to peridot or gold-green beryl.

    Synthetic Green Quartz

    However, green quartz does not occur naturally. It is produced by heating amethyst or yellowish quartz. However, not all amethyst or yellow quartz can be heated to produce prasiolite. According to gemological sources, only quartz from the Montezuma deposit in Minas Gerais, Brazil can be heated to produce prasiolite. Amethyst or yellowish quartz is heated to about 500 degrees centigrade to produce the leek-green color. Unfortunately, the color is known to fade when exposed to strong sunlight.

    Some so-called green amethyst in the market is actually synthetic quartz produced by the hydrothermal method. It is usually found in a vivid mint green or blue-green rather than the paler golden-green of prasiolite. The unnatural color is usually a sure sign that it is synthetic.

    Real Natural Amethyst

    Finally, we haven't yet answered the question why prasiolite is being sold in the market as "green amethyst." The answer, sad to say, is simple greed. Since amethyst is the most valuable gem in the quartz family, associating this green heated quartz with the nobler amethyst is just an attempt to elevate the humble prasiolite. There are certainly many finer green gems in the market, with much better color stability.
    Last edited by Cali Craft and Gems; 02-07-10, 16:02.
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  • #2
    Does the stone lose it's value because it is heated or make it more expensive? Most people (including me) would not know what a prasiolite is. Maybe if people described it as a heated amethyst (lose the green) it would be better.


    • #3
      Prasiolite is really a fairly rare, natural variety of quartz. The "Green Amethyst" name actually comes from the term "Greened Amethyst" which refers to Amethyst that has been treated through heating and/or irradiation to get a green colour. This makes rare colours more widely available and affordable so it's value is substantially less than natural or untreated counterparts.

      Synthetic quartz is much, much cheaper.