How Much is Raw Amethyst Worth?

Amethyst is a popular and beautiful purple variety of quartz that has been valued as a gemstone for thousands of years. But if you find or acquire some raw, uncut amethyst, how much is it really worth? There are several factors that determine the value of raw amethyst.

Quality

Like any gemstone, the quality of the amethyst greatly affects its value. Higher quality pieces that are a deeper purple color, relatively inclusion (flaw) free, and have a good crystal shape are worth more than lower quality pieces.

The best quality amethyst is a deep, intense purple with red or blue flashes of color. It should not be too pale or have large, visible flaws. Raw amethyst clusters or single terminated points are generally worth more than rough, broken pieces.

Size

Larger sized pieces of amethyst tend to be worth more per carat than small crystals and fragments. This is because it is easier for lapidaries to cut more desirable finished stones from bigger raw stones. However, single large crystals over 5 pounds or so can decrease in value because they may be too large for most gem-cutting purposes.

For most mid-size amethyst specimens in the range of 0.5 pounds to 5 pounds, larger sizes have exponentially more value. Size is very important in setting raw amethyst prices.

Source

Where the amethyst originated from also plays a key role. Amethyst from certain localities is highly prized by collectors and cutters. These include amethyst from:

-Uruguay – Deep purple color, sometimes with red flashes

-Russia – Deep purple, well-saturated

-Zambia – Deep saturated purple, green phantoms

-Mexico – Purple and blue/violet mixes

-Arizona, USA – Intense purple, large crystals

-Brazil – Abundant but not valued as highly, paler purple

More common material from abundant sources like Brazil is worth less than rarer amethyst from premium localities.

Overall, untreated, natural amethyst from any of these major sources is worth more than material that has been irradiated or heat treated to improve color.

Demand

Like other gemstones, supply and demand influence amethyst prices. When demand is high from jewelers, collectors, metaphysical buyers, etc, prices tend to be higher. When demand is lower or supplies are abundant, prices can decrease.

The popularity of purple gems and increasing rarity of high quality amethyst has caused prices to rise over the past decade or so. But amethyst remains affordable compared to many precious gems.

In general, raw natural amethyst varies in price from $1 to $100 per pound based on the quality factors noted above. Top quality single crystals or clusters can sell for hundreds of dollars per pound in some cases. But small, lower grade pieces may sell for only pennies. Having a basic understanding of amethyst quality and market factors allows you to evaluate if a piece is fairly priced or an exceptional value.