The Different Types Of Amethyst And What They All Look Like

By Dr. Keith Jackson - Geology PhD

| Updated

The Different Types Of Amethyst And What They All Look Like

By Dr. Keith Jackson - Geology PhD


Amethyst is one of the most fascinating and widespread minerals found on our planet. The various types of amethyst, such as ametrine, prasiolite, and Brandberg amethyst, demonstrate the diversity of this beautiful mineral.

The significance of amethyst stretches across various industries, making it much more than just a pretty stone. In electronics, jewelry, and construction, amethyst is valued for its unique properties and aesthetic appeal.

There’s an exciting journey ahead in exploring the diverse types of amethyst and uncovering their distinct characteristics. Each variety of this mineral offers a unique glimpse into the wondrous world of geology and mineralogy.

The 12 Different Types Of Amethyst And What They Look Like

Amethyst is a kind of quartz that forms in various geological settings, such as within volcanic rocks or in cavities of granites. These different environments contribute to the diverse appearances and types of this beautiful mineral.

The variety seen in amethyst is due to trace elements and impurities within the crystal structure. Elements like iron and manganese can alter the hue, leading to the beautiful spectrum of purples and other colors found in these crystals.

Brandberg Amethyst

dark purple Brandberg amethyst
Brandberg amethyst provided by affordablemineralsNY

Brandberg amethyst is a captivating variety of quartz, renowned for its unique blend of elements like silicon dioxide, iron, and trace amounts of other minerals.

These components come together to form a crystal that not only holds geological significance but also showcases a striking array of hues and features.

The appearance of Brandberg amethyst is truly remarkable, characterized by its color range from deep purples to vibrant lilacs.

The varying shades are a result of the iron content within the crystal structure, which can fluctuate, leading to diverse color intensities and patterns in each specimen.

Brandberg amethyst stands out for its inclusion patterns and the presence of phantom crystals within its structure.

These internal “ghosts” are formed by layers of other minerals, offering a glimpse into the crystal’s growth history and adding to its allure for those fascinated by the wonders of the natural world.

Where you can find Brandberg amethyst

Brandberg amethyst is predominantly found in the Brandberg area of Namibia, Africa.

To learn more about how to find crystals like Brandberg amethyst, check out our crystal mining article. It offers great tips and insights into the exciting world of crystal exploration.


octagonal ametrine with purple and yellow color zoning
Ametrine provided by NehaaGallerina

Ametrine is an intriguing mineral that captures the imagination of those interested in rocks and minerals. This unique gem is a combination of two quartz varieties: amethyst and citrine.

The beauty of ametrine lies in its striking coloration, which ranges from a blend of vibrant purple and golden yellow.

This color variation is a result of differing oxidation states of iron within the crystal, influenced by temperature and radiation exposure during formation.

Ametrine is notable for its distinct zoning of colors, where purple and yellow hues can be clearly seen in the same crystal. This feature, combined with its unique composition, sets ametrine apart from different kinds of amethyst.

Where you can find ametrine

Ametrine is primarily found in the Anahí Mine, located in eastern Bolivia. This mine is the world’s major source of ametrine, providing most of the ametrine available on the global market.

Chevron Amethyst

chevron amethyst sphere with white and purple layers
Chevron amethyst provided by WHcrystal

Chevron amethyst is a captivating type of amethyst known for its distinctive pattern. It’s easily recognized by its unique V-shaped or chevron patterns, which are a combination of deep purple and white or clear quartz layers.

These patterns and color variations are due to differences in iron content and other impurities in the layers, resulting in the striking contrast seen in chevron amethyst.

Chevron amethyst is not only beautiful but also a subject of interest for its formation process. The alternating layers of colors provide a visual record of the crystal’s growth history, making it a fascinating example for geological study.

Where you can find chevron amethyst

Chevron amethyst can be found in several locations around the world, including Brazil, India, and Africa.


raw auralite crystal
Auralite provided by Auralite23Crystal

Auralite is an intriguing type of mineral that’s a combination of amethyst and several other trace minerals. Its composition includes silicon dioxide from amethyst, along with a mixture of elements like iron, copper, and titanium.

This mineral’s appearance is quite distinct, often showing a deep purple hue similar to what amethyst looks like, but with additional layers or inclusions of other colors.

These variations in color are due to the various trace minerals present in auralite, each contributing to its unique and colorful display.

A standout feature of auralite is the presence of multiple minerals within a single specimen, sometimes including up to 23 different types.

This mix not only gives auralite its diverse color range but also makes it a fascinating subject for those studying minerals and their properties.

Where you can find auralite

Auralite is primarily found in the Boreal Forest of Canada, specifically in the area around Lake Superior.


druzy gray-green prasiolite crystals
Prasiolite provided by BlackSwanSibyl

Prasiolite is an interesting variety of quartz. It often contains traces of iron, which play a key role in giving prasiolite its unique color.

This mineral is known for its beautiful green color, which can range from a light, almost transparent green to a deeper, more olive shade.

The green color of prasiolite is usually the result of heat treatment, either occurring naturally in the earth or artificially, transforming certain types of amethyst or yellowish quartz into prasiolite.

Naturally-occurring prasiolite is rare, as most available prasiolite is created through artificial means.

Where you can find prasiolite

Prasiolite can be found in some areas of Brazil and Poland.

Cacoxenite amethyst

teardrop-shaped purple amethyst cabochon with orange cacoxenite inclusions
Cacoxenite amethyst provided by CreativeArtTreassure

Cacoxenite is an intriguing mineral primarily composed of iron, aluminum, and phosphate, along with other elements like oxygen and hydrogen. This combination of elements gives cacoxenite its unique chemical makeup and properties.

Cacoxenite typically exhibits a striking golden-yellow to brownish-yellow color. This coloration is mainly due to the presence of iron in its structure, which imparts the rich hues that characterize this mineral.

A notable feature of cacoxenite is that it often forms as an inclusion within other minerals, such as amethyst, creating a beautiful contrast.

These inclusions of cacoxenite can appear as radiating or feathery formations, adding an intricate and fascinating aspect to the host mineral.

Where you can find cacoxenite amethyst

Cacoxenite amethyst can be found in the United States, Germany, and Brazil.

If you’re interested in exploring the world of minerals, our rockhounding guide is a great resource. It provides tips and information on rock hunting near you.

Phantom Amethyst

purple phantom amethyst crystal
Phantom amethyst provided by NouveauCrystals

Phantom amethyst is a fascinating variety of amethyst. It stands out due to the presence of “phantoms” – ghost-like inclusions within its structure, which give it a distinct and layered look.

In phantom amethyst, one can observe a range of colors from deep purples to lighter hues, often appearing in layers or as phantom shapes within the crystal.

These color variations are typically due to trace amounts of iron and other minerals that get trapped during the crystal’s growth, influencing its final color.

Phantom amethyst provides a visual record of the crystal’s growth history. The crystal outlines and layers within the stone are formed by pauses in the crystal’s growth, offering a glimpse into geological processes over time.

Where you can find phantom amethyst

There are notable sources of phantom amethyst in Brazil, Madagascar, and the United States. In the United States, phantom amethyst is often discovered in states like Arizona, North Carolina, and Colorado.

Pink Amethyst

translucent pink amethyst crystals
Pink amethyst provided by Fossilera

Pink amethyst is a unique and relatively rare variety of the common mineral amethyst. The presence of trace elements, particularly iron, contributes to its distinct pink hue.

The appearance of pink amethyst ranges from a delicate, light pink to a deeper, more vivid pink.

This variation in color is largely due to the concentration and distribution of iron within the crystal, which affects how light interacts with the mineral.

Pink amethyst is its often found in geodes or clusters, where multiple crystals grow together in a captivating display.

Where you can find pink amethyst

Pink amethyst is primarily found in Argentina, particularly in the Patagonia region.

Amethyst Geodes

Amethyst geodes are fascinating natural formations, with traces of iron giving them their famous purple color. These geodes form in volcanic rocks and are essentially hollow, lined with amethyst crystals.

A key feature of amethyst geodes is their crystal-lined cavity, which creates a stunning natural display. When you look inside an amethyst geode, you’ll see a range of purple hues, from light lavender to deep violet.

The color variation is due to the amount of iron and the specific conditions under which the crystals formed, such as temperature and the presence of other trace elements.

Geodes can vary greatly in size, from small enough to fit in your hand to large enough to stand in, and each one is unique in its crystal formation and color pattern.

Where you can find amethyst geodes

Amethyst geodes are commonly found in Brazil and Uruguay. In the United States, they can also be found in places like Arizona and Oregon.

Cactus Amethyst

purple cactus amethyst with druzy crystals
Cactus amethyst provided by abijouxparis

Cactus amethyst is also known as spirit quartz. Its unique structure is enriched with additional minerals, which contribute to its distinctive appearance.

This type of amethyst is characterized by a central quartz crystal covered in smaller crystal growths, giving it a spiky, cactus-like appearance.

The color ranges from pale lilac to deep purple, with the variations largely influenced by the amount of iron and other trace elements within the crystals.

A notable feature of cactus amethyst is the way the smaller crystals radiate outward from the central crystal.

This formation not only creates a stunning visual effect but also makes each piece of cactus amethyst a unique and fascinating specimen.

Regarding the price of amethyst, it can vary significantly based on the size, quality, and depth of color. While smaller, less vibrant pieces are relatively affordable, larger specimens with deep, rich colors can be quite valuable.

Where you can find cactus amethyst

Cactus amethyst, or spirit quartz, is primarily found in South Africa, specifically in the Magaliesberg mountain region.

Scepter Amethyst

dark purple scepter amethyst with a colorless stem
Scepter amethyst provided by CaveTreasureMinerals

Scepter amethyst gets its name from its distinctive scepter-like formation, where a larger crystal cap sits atop a smaller crystal stem.

The color variations in scepter amethyst are influenced by the amount of iron and other trace elements within the crystal, coupled with the specific conditions under which it formed.

A key feature of scepter amethyst is its symbolic scepter shape, representing a crystal formation process where a second phase of growth occurs on an already-formed crystal base. This creates a striking and regal scepter-like appearance.

Where you can find scepter amethyst

Scepter amethyst can be found in several locations around the world, with notable spots including Brazil, Madagascar, and Zambia.

In the United States, areas like Washington State and North Carolina are also known for their scepter amethyst discoveries.

Smoky Amethyst

smoky amethyst crystals on a rock
Smoky amethyst provided by CaveTreasureMinerals

Smoky amethyst is a unique variation among amethyst types that combines features of both smoky quartz and amethyst. The presence of trace elements like iron and aluminum gives it its unique coloration.

This mineral exhibits a blend of smoky brown and purple hues, creating a captivating visual effect. This is due to natural irradiation and the varying amounts of impurities, which influence the depth and intensity of both the smoky and purple colors.

A notable feature of smoky amethyst is its dual-tone appearance, which is not commonly found in other quartz varieties.

Where you can find smoky amethyst

Smoky amethyst can be found in several countries, including Brazil. It’s also discovered in places like Africa and the United States.

About Dr. Keith Jackson - Geology PhD

Keith Jackson is an avid rockhound who is constantly exploring new sites to expand his collection. He has worked as a professional Geologist for over 20 years and holds a PhD in Geology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, a Masters Degree in Geology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and a Bachelors Degree in Geology from the University of Connecticut.

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