The value of an amethyst ring in silver greatly depends on the colour of the stone, the intricacy of design and the quantity of silver in the piece. Unlike diamonds, whose value shoots up with its carat size, the value of an amethyst depends almost entirely on its colour.
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Amethyst is crystalline quartz that ranges in colour from pale lavender to deep purple. Amethysts once mined in Siberia were the most sought-after because they produced stones with a deep, rich colour that had a blue or red highlights. Those mines have long been worked out and no new Siberian amethysts are available. The term "Siberian" now refers to the amethyst's high-grade colour and not where it was mined. Prior to 1900, amethysts were fairly rare and considered quite valuable.
Amethysts are now considered a common stone and so do not command a high price. In 2010, top quality gems sold for between £5 and £16 a carat. Large amethyst mines have been discovered in Brazil, Bolivia, Uruguay and Zambia. Brazil, in particular, has produced very large stones, but the colour is not considered high quality, according to the Gemology Society. Siberian grade stones are valued the highest. Amethysts can be manufactured and it can be difficult to tell the difference between a man-made stone and a natural stone, another factor that has affected prices.
The amethyst is only one component of a ring, and one must also take into consideration the metal used in the jewellery before determining a value. At one time, silver had nearly as much value as gold, but the value dropped markedly through history, as more silver mines were discovered. In fact, silver prices in 1780 were far higher than in 2010. As production of silver increases, the price is expected to continue to decrease.
Determining value of an amethyst ring, taking into consideration the quality of the stone and the amount of silver in the ring, is still a fairly subjective process. The cut of the amethyst, whether it has inclusions (flaws), and its colour and clarity are the most important factors in determining value.
Many experts have a saying that something is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it. While this old adage is not much help to those curious about the value of a piece of jewellery, it is often a true statement.
Even though amethyst, which once ranked in value with rubies and diamonds, is no longer an extremely valuable stone, it is one of the most popular. Its colour variations are appealing to many people, and it is often paired with other precious gems.
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