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Purple Gemstones

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Purple gemstones are intriguing and regal. Ranging in hues from deep plum to a color reminiscent of fields planted with French lavender, purple gemstones have been one of the most sought-after gemstones for centuries. They are said to retain qualities that bestow their wearers with wisdom, insight, and good fortune. Purple gemstones come in many different forms, from sapphire to alexandrite, spinel, or tanzanite. Their unique color also pairs excellently with nontraditional shapes, allowing for purple gemstones to not only be cut into classic shapes like round or oval, but also into shapes such as trillion, hexagon, or kite.

Once you have selected the perfect purple gemstone, it is time to find a setting to match it. Our curated selection of designs ranges from nature-inspired to ultra-modern. Choose a gemstone ring setting for your purple gemstone that will complement and enhance its beauty.

When you think of a purple gemstone, you might think of amethyst. Secretly a type of quartz found in geodes, this is the most popular purple gemstone and can be found in all shades. Ranging from pale lilac to deep violet, its darkest hues are deemed the highest quality.

Purple was considered hard to come by, so a purple gemstone’s rarity was often associated with royalty. But from a magenta spinel to the blue and purple hues of tanzanite and alexandrite, many types of purple gemstones exist. These precious stones each display different shades of purple. Their distinctive hues vary with the presence of iron, titanium, and manganese. Depending on the minerals and the amount of them, you get unique coloring. Bright topaz, rich garnet, pastel tourmaline — they all have their own markings and meanings that make them special.

Amethyst, tanzanite, and sapphire are the most popular purple gemstones used in jewelry. Amethyst is the most well-known and it’s both affordable and durable (it can easily) hold up to daily wear. Worthy of purple’s regal reputation, the precious purple sapphire is born from corundum. It’s often reserved for exquisite engagement rings, although it has incredible toughness. A common sapphire alternative is tanzanite, a striking, statement-making blue-violet gemstone. Only found in Tanzania (and fairly recently), its rarity comes from the zoisite mineral. It’s softer, so more suitable in jewelry for special occasions to avoid scratching.

Despite amethyst’s association as the go-to purple gemstone, there is a wide variety of stones in this shade (and more). Lesser-known names such as fluorite, lepidolite, sugilite, and charoite all come in purple. In general, purple gemstones are said to be incredibly rare, so there’s no shortage of significance with any piece chosen for your jewelry.

Pricing depends on how rare it is to find a particular stone in this color. Spinel, for example, is visually extremely similar to amethyst, but the latter is much more accessible, so it tends to cost less. That being said, the price also rises with the intensity of the purple color itself — so a heavily saturated amethyst will most likely be expensive. Color can even be interchangeable, as with another highly sought-after purple gemstone, the garnet. Purple garnets can actually appear blue-green under different lighting.

Alexandrite is the purple gemstone that exhibits blue and red hues of color when in incandescent light. These color-changing properties are actually referred to as “the alexandrite effect” due to its chromium.

Essentially, while alexandrite may see green or greenish-blue in daylight or fluorescent light, everything changes under incandescent light. In low light conditions, such as evening events or romantic candle-lit dinners, Alexandrite shows flashes of blue and red hues for a purple appearance. Different angles, different colors: a truly one-of-a-kind gem. Learn more about this gemstone in our alexandrite guide.

Amethyst, the beautiful, peace-promoting purple gemstone, is the birthstone for February. Fans of the metaphysical claim that the meditative purple hue of amethyst even heals physically and spiritually by encouraging clarity. It’s also gifted for a couple’s 6th wedding anniversary to invite calmness and bravery. Learn more in this Amethyst Birthstone Guide.