Amethyst is a variety of quartz (SiO2), and it is the most popular purple gem in the world. Its name comes from the Koine Greek term amethystos, meaning “not intoxicated”—a reference to the belief that the stone protects its owners from feeling drunk.
Amethyst is widely used in jewelry. But have you ever wondered if it can go in the water? In this article, we are going to discuss just that. We will begin with the properties of Amethyst. Then we will look at its interaction with different elements like salt water, sunlight, and moonlight. Finally, we will talk about taking care of Amethyst.
Read: Can Emerald go in the Water
Can Amethyst Get Wet?
Yes, Amethyst can get wet. Since amethyst is a type of quartz, it has a value of 7 on the Mohs Scale, which is above the minimum value required for minerals to survive underwater. But still, like all stones, amethyst should not be immersed in water for too long as it can dull and/or damage the stone.
Mohs Hardness Scale is a measure of a mineral’s relative resistance to scratching. Besides that, it also indicates a mineral’s relationship with water. Usually, a value of over 5.0 on the Mohs Scale means that the mineral can go into the water.
Softer minerals like Selenite (hardness of 2.0) should never be immersed in water. But even harder minerals like Amethyst should not be immersed in water for long. This is because water can enter the crevices of the stone and expand them. These fissures may not be visible at first but can slowly damage the structure of the stone.
Water can also fade the color of the stone. It strips off the polish from their surfaces, making them look duller. Because of the fissures encouraged by water, the structure of the stone can change, and this can also affect the way light bounces inside it, thus damaging its optical properties.
Therefore, it is never recommended to let a stone stay immersed in water for long. Keep reading to find out how to clean Amethyst properly.
What are the Properties of Amethyst?
These are the properties of Amethyst:
- Appearance: Amethyst is purple, and its hues range from lavender or pale violet to dark purple. It can also exhibit one or both secondary hues of red and blue. The best quality of Amethyst has a primary purple hue of around 80% mixed with a 20% blue/red hue—it is known as “Deep Siberian”. Another popular variant is called “Rose de France”, which has a light shade of purple, that is similar to lavender.
- Structure: Amethyst has a trigonal crystal system. It does not have cleavage and usually breaks with a conchoidal fracture. Generally, its crystals exist as a 6-sided prism that ends in a 6-sided pyramid. The crystals range from transparent to translucent, and they usually have a vitreous lustre.
- Hardness: Since it is a variant of quartz, Amethyst has a value of 7.0 on the Mohs Hardness Scale. This means that it is moderately resistant to scratches and is safe to go in the water. Its moderate hardness is what allows it to be widely used in jewelry. It is often cut into small calibrated stones and sold in mass-market jewelry.
- Composition: Amethyst has a purple color because of several reasons such as impurities of iron/transition metals, other trace elements, and irradiation. After crystallization, radioactive materials in the host rock emit gamma rays, which irradiate the stone and make it purple.
- Formation: Amethyst is found in igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary rocks in small quantities all over the world. However, many of these occurrences are too small to sustain a mining operation. The most important amethyst deposits are in Brazil and Uruguay, where it is found in the cavities of basalt.
Besides the physical properties, Amethyst is also believed to possess various spiritual properties. It is considered the traditional birthstone of February. The stone is said to have calming properties and it brings soothing dreams to its owners.
In ancient times, amethyst was believed to make the owners immune to drunkenness, and the Greeks made their drinking vessels from it.
Can Amethyst go in Salt Water?
No, Amethyst should not be put into salt water. It has a value of 7.0 on the Mohs Hardness Scale, meaning that it can survive underwater, but even then, it should not be immersed in water for long. Adding salt into the solution makes matters even worse because it aggravates the corrosive process.
With the help of water, salt can enter the crevices of a stone. Here, the salt particles remain even after the water evaporates and they encourage the widening of cracks. These fissures can slowly damage the structure of the stone, making it more brittle.
Salt can also tarnish the surface of the stone, making its color duller. Finally, salt can react adversely with the components of the stone. This is especially true for stones that contain iron (amethyst does) because salt hastens the process of rusting by making the iron lose its electrons more easily.
Can Amethyst go in the Sun?
No, amethyst should not be put out in the sun directly. Although keeping stones out in the sunlight is a common way of recharging them, this method is not suitable for all stones. Amethyst is a type of Quartz, and just like it, its color can get damaged by sunlight.
When exposed to the sun for a long time, Amethyst will lose its color. The presence of iron impurities is what gives the stone its trademark purple color, and in excessive sunlight, Amethyst will get faded.
There are several other ways of recharging your stone, such as putting it out in the moonlight, smudging it with sage, or leaving it in a bowl of salt. While salt water is harmful, dry salt is not. Without the presence of water, salt particles cannot enter the crevices of the stone.
Can Amethyst go in the Moonlight?
Yes, Amethyst can go in the moonlight. Leaving stones out in the moonlight is a popular method of recharging them, and it is perfectly safe for amethyst. Collectors usually prefer leaving the stone out on a full moon, so that the stone can absorb the positive energies of the moon.
Most crystal stone owners avoid leaving their stone out during an eclipse, as it is associated with negative energy. Other than that, you can keep your stone in the moonlight whenever you want. Just put it on a windowsill and leave it overnight. Unlike the harsh rays of the sun, moonlight is much softer, and is great for stones like amethyst.
Read: Can Selenite Go in Water?
Can Amethyst go in Hot Water?
Amethyst can go in hot water, but it is usually recommended to use lukewarm water to clean it. Sudden temperature changes are dangerous for all stones, so, you must ensure that the stone is not too cold before being put into hot water.
Amethyst has a value of 7.0 on the Mohs Hardness scale, meaning that it is a fairly resistant stone and is also safe in the water. However, even for these stones, sudden shifts in temperature can be damaging.
So, if you are using hot water to clean it, make sure that the stone is not too cold before immersing it. In any case, using lukewarm water is the safest option.
How to Clean and Take Care of Amethyst?
Follow these steps to clean Amethyst:
- Mix a soft detergent/soap with lukewarm water.
- Immerse the stone in it for a few minutes, cleaning the crevices with a soft brush.
- Rinse the stone under running water and ensure that no excess soap remains.
- Let the stone air dry. Make sure you flip it a few times to get all water out of the crevices.
Amethyst should not be subjected to heat, so steam cleaning is not recommended. Ultrasonic cleaners are fine except in cases when the stone has been treated with fracture fillings or has been dyed. The stone can also get damaged by hydrofluoric acid and alkaline solutions.
Amethyst is a pretty hard mineral, having a hardness of 7.0 on the Mohs Scale. This is what makes it a great choice for jewelry. However, it should still be treated with care to prevent scratching. Remove it during intense physical activities like exercising or swimming.
For recharging the stone, as we discussed above, you can use moonlight. You can also try out other methods like smudging it with sage or putting it on a bed of rice, etc.
In this article, we have discussed whether Amethyst can go in the water or not. With a value of 7.0 on the Mohs Hardness Scale, Amethyst is a moderately strong mineral that can also go in the water. However, as with all stones, it should not be immersed for too long. We also looked at its interaction with sunlight, moonlight, and salt water. Finally, we read about cleaning and taking care of Amethyst.