What Type of Rocks Can You Find Amethyst In?

Amethysts are quartz crystals colored with iron impurities.
••• Amethyst image by photoBeard from Fotolia.com

Amethysts are semiprecious stones in the quartz family. They are tinted lavender to deep purple by the addition of manganese and iron impurities to the quartz. Amethysts, the most valuable of the quartz gems, is designated as the February birthstone. The most valuable amethysts, known as Siberian amethysts, have deep purple coloring with flashes of blue and red. These gems are often found in or near other types of stones.

Other Quartz

Amethysts are often found near other stones from the quartz family. Citrine, a yellow-colored quartz gem, is commonly found in combination with amethysts. Amethysts are also found on top of clear and cloudy gray quartz. Irradiation from the sun or surrounding elements causes the chemical change that turns amethysts purple. Neighboring quartz that isn't exposed to the irradiation or doesn't have the necessary manganese and iron to cause the purple coloration will not become an amethyst.

Geodes

Amethysts form in long, prismatic crystals. The most prized place for collectors to find amethysts is in geodes, or hollow rocks filled with crystals. Geodes form in cavities of volcanic rock. As the rock cools and hardens, it's filled with hot substances for the surroundings--gases, mineral-saturated water and volcanic material--causing it to be hollow. As it cools and the substances distill out of the rock, the minerals in the water crystallize. The right minerals and water temperatures form amethysts.

Volcanic Rock

The largest amethyst concentrations are found in volcanic rocks, according to The Quartz Page. These deposits are found all over the world, but the largest deposits are in Brazil and Uruguay. Prior to South America's rise as the top producer, most commercially mined amethysts came out of Russia and Siberia.

Metamorphic

Although most amethyst deposits are found in igneous rocks, The Quartz Page says amethysts are also found in metamorphic rocks. They are rarely found in sedimentary rocks, because the chemical conditions necessary for amethyst formation aren't generally found as sedimentary rocks form. Amethysts are found around the world, but their look and shape is different depending on where they are mined.

Related Articles

Where Is the Mineral Topaz Found?
Gems Native to Connecticut
What Colors Are Geodes Naturally?
Where to Rock Hunt Gems in Idaho
What Natural Gemstones Are Organic to Vermont?
Rock Crystals Found in Tennessee
List of the Minerals Found in the State of Washington
Gems Found in Colorado
How Is Tourmaline Formed?
List of Rare Minerals
Difference Between Quartz & Calcite
Facts About Geodes
Interesting Facts About Garnet
How to Find Amethyst in Georgia
Types of Intrusive Igneous Rock With Large Crystals
How to Find Obsidian Rocks
What Is the Difference Between Quartz & Rock Crystal?
Where Is Ruby Found as a Natural Resource?
What Minerals Make Up the Earth's Crust?
Interesting Facts About Quartzite