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  1. #1
    Inactive Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert
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    Default The AMETHYST thread

    Amethyst is a purple/violet gemstone which name comes from the Ancient Greek ἀ a- (not) and μέθυστος méthystos (euphoric, intoxicated), a belief where the stone protected its owner from drunkenness. Ancient Greeks wore amethyst and made drinking vessels adorned with it in the alchemy it would prevent intoxication.

    Amethyst is a semiprecious stone 2.65 SG and 7.0 Mohs. It's the traditional birthstone for February.

    In structure, amethyst is a purple variety of quartz and owes its violet color to irradiation, iron impurities and the presence of trace elements which result in complex crystal lattice substitutions. In some cases in conjunction with transition element impurities.

    Amethyst is produced in Brazil, South Korea, Austria and Russia. Zambia produces 1000 tonnes annually. In the United States near Mazatzal Mountain, Arizona; Red Feather Lakes, Colorado; Amethyst Mountain, Texas and in the Lake Superior region of Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan. Amethyst is relatively common in the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Nova Scotia. The largest amethyst mine in North America is located near Thunder Bay, Ontario. I was born in Thunder Bay. although it was known as Fort William then. I grew up along the north shore of Lake Superior, near a little town known as... you got it... Pearl.

    Most of the rocks in Northern Canada are part of the ancient Canadian Shield covered by a thin layer of soil. The Canadian Shield is one of the remaining pieces of the Earth’s original crust dating over three billion years. Northern Ontario was once made up of a series of volcanic and plutonic rocks separated by oceans. When the belts finally collided, vast mountain ranges were formed and many of the rocks were deformed and metamorphosed at elevated temperatures and pressures.These conditions were ideal for mineralization. The shield is one of the world’s richest areas in terms of mineral ores. It is filled with substantial amounts of nickel, gold, silver and copper. The processes which metamorphosed the rocks are believed to have occurred between 4.5 and 540 million years ago. Over hundreds of millions of years, the shield has been eroded to its current topographic appearance of relatively low relief. The majority of the shield which is revealed at the surface of the Earth today is composed of igneous rocks, formed by Precambrian volcanoes and metamorphosed rocks. In Ontario, large quantities of amethyst formed during the faulting of the Lake Superior Basin, between layers of Archean and Proterozoic rocks. This process occurred before the glaciations of the Great Lakes basin 25,000 to 10,000 years ago, which depressed the land surface, scooped out thousands of lake basins, and carried away much of the regions soil. Formation of amethyst was restricted to near-surface conditions in veins and vugs (pockets within rock where trapped liquids and gases had created an environment suitable for crystal formation).

    Around 300 million years ago, an extraordinary event occured. The absence of multiple faults cause one major fault extending northward from the lake for a few hundred miles. Huge mesas formed as mountains raised almost perfectly vertically. At the base of these canyons were huge rock fall areas.

    This is Ouimet Canyon, one of the largest and certainly most spectacular canyons of the Quetico Fault. Also, a picture of Eagle Canyon where uplifts reveal iron and other minerals.
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  2. #2
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    In the early 1900's, while building a road into a forest fire watch tower near Pearl, Ontario, a rich vein of amethyst was discovered at the Panorama Mine.

    Named for it's spectacular setting overlooking the north shore of Lake Superior. The mine is still in operation. It's estimated there is another eighty to one hundred years of production on this site alone, no less numerous others (albeit smaller) mines. They use mostly water in this mine. High pressure hoses loosen material allowing workers to use hand tools, instead of explosives. Gemologists high grade at the extraction point and everything else is taken to the tailings area, where tourists are permitted to pick as much as they please.
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  3. #3
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    A few images of the conglomerates and crystal pockets which form within fallen rock.
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  4. #4
    Inactive Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert
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    Star Amethyst crystals. One per point, when they're cut right!
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  5. #5
    Natural Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Purranha's Avatar
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    Dave!!! I'm putting myself on the list for some quail egg sized star amethyst cabs please!!!
    And perhaps a strand of star amethyst bead around 8-10mm (which I can blend with a strand of pearl? Ooohhhh...
    And I so enjoyed reading the info rich posts from you - thanks so much!

  6. #6
    Inactive Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert
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    Quote Originally Posted by Purranha View Post
    Dave!!! I'm putting myself on the list for some quail egg sized star amethyst cabs please!!!
    And perhaps a strand of star amethyst bead around 8-10mm (which I can blend with a strand of pearl? Ooohhhh...
    And I so enjoyed reading the info rich posts from you - thanks so much!
    This mine has little crystals and this mine has BIG crystals.
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  7. #7
    Inactive Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert
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    Quote Originally Posted by Purranha View Post
    which I can blend with a strand of pearl? Ooohhhh...
    Amethyst and pearls pair nicely. These are flawless Northern Ontario round cut amethyst with natural British Columbia pearls.
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  8. #8
    First-graft Pearl Senior Guide Member Happy Huku's Avatar
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    Thank you for sharing such interesting information, look forward to further reading and photos on this thread!
    Happy Huku
    Queensland
    Australia

  9. #9
    Pearl Journalist Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert GemGeek's Avatar
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    Ah, geology!
    GemGeek
    The World Is My Oyster!

  10. #10
    Natural Pearl Lover Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert MSC's Avatar
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    Oooh, that ring, damn!

    I'll put myself on the list for some faceted stones if they look like that!

  11. #11
    Natural Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert dkan 168's Avatar
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    It's my birthstone.

    DK
    Treat every life situation like a dog: if you can't play with it, eat it, or hump it, p1$$ on it and walk away

  12. #12
    Natural Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Purranha's Avatar
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    I'm reposting my favorite amethyst ring here (again)
    image.jpgimage.jpg

  13. #13
    Rare Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert
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    I love amethysts! You just can't beat purple as a royal color.

    I've never heard of star amethysts before. I've heard of star sapphires and rubies, and a few other non pretty gems, but never amethysts. Now I want one, hehehe.

    My amethyst pendant.

    IMG_0743.jpg

    Garnet oval ring, amethyst cabochon with iolite triangles ring, and amethyst pear shaped ring.

    IMG_0892.jpg
    Last edited by BWeaves; 04-10-2016 at 05:41 PM.

  14. #14
    Natural Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert BlackPearlDudeDC's Avatar
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    I could go crazy on this thread!!! However I promised a certain someone not to post all my jewelry online. So I will just add my first "commitment band ring" and my Bone Breaker.

  15. #15
    Consumer Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert kelluvpearls's Avatar
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    Thanks Dave, it was fascinating reading.

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