Purple and Violet Coloured Gemstones

Purple and Violet Coloured Gemstones
By Alice Koh
[For educational purposes only].

There are seven colours in the rainbow: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet. In the rainbow the red is on the top of the arc and violet is on the bottom. There is no purple light in a rainbow.

Different shades of purple can be created by mixing red and blue. The colours purple and violet have been used synonymously and interchangeably. However they are not the same; there is a small difference in hue between them. What we call purple in the colour wheel is specifically red violet, while the violet in the colour wheel is actually blue violet.

Since ancient times, purple and violet represented spirituality, royalty and wealth. Blue is a colour of tranquility and red is of aggressiveness. Thus, purple shares both qualities.

A well known purple gemstone is the amethyst, which is a variety of quartz and can be found in geode form as well as a polished crystal.

Amethyst comes from the Greek word AMETHYSTOS which means "not intoxicated". This was because of its colour resemblance to grape wine and the belief among the ancient Greeks that this crystal had the power to keep you from getting drunk.

Amethyst is the purple variety of quartz. It comes in shades of lilac with pink undertones, lavender, deep purple plums, brownish purple and raspberry with red and blue tones. Irradiation and trace elements of iron and/or manganese produces the colour and intensity of purple.

The infamous accursed Delhi Purple Sapphire that was stolen from a holy temple in India in 1857 is not a sapphire as believed but a fine amethyst.

Rose de France Amethyst, which is found in Brazil, Bolivia and Zambia, is another popular amethyst. Rose de France exhibits pleochroism, which means that its colour changes when viewed from different angles.

Amethyst is transparent to translucent with a glass-like luster or shine. It has a hardness of 7 on the Mohs scale which deems it hard enough to be made into any type of jewellery and ornate carving.

Amethyst is the birthstone for February, the month of Cupid or Valentine’s Day. It is known as a stone of piety, sobriety and celibacy.

Since ancient times amethyst has been the symbol of the highest degree of spirituality. It has a tremendous power to oppose evil, not only in the mind but also as a spiritual force. It also had the power to oppose drunkenness and the sins of over-indulgence.

Amethyst has always been used as a protection stone against psychic attacks or witchcraft, poison and evil forms of thinking. It was a gem used to secure the help of princess, high priests, people with wealth, influence and power.

Amethyst was used by seers, prophets and poets. It was believed that this lovely stone would help one in obtaining wisdom from the spirit world, and true spirituality and transformation.

Iolite Gemstone

Iolite derives from the Greek word ION which means violet and LITHOS which means stone. It refers to the purple hue that is often seen in Iolites.

The property of exhibiting different colours in different directions by transmitted polarized light is known as pleochroism or pleochroic. Iolite is the most pleochroic of all gemstones.

Iolite luster is glass-like and waxy (when polished) and it is transparent to translucent. It is one of the hardest of quartz, being 7-7.5 on Mohs scale but it should not be exposed to hard blows due to its cleavage. If iolite is to be worn daily in a ring, it should be mounted in a protective setting. Iolite can be found in large size gemstones at an affordable price and are great for statement jewellery pieces.

Iolites are blue, purple and grey. It is an affordable alternative for more expensive blue sapphire or violet-blue tanzanite.

Iolite helps in recovering balance and is recommended for those suffering from disorientation, lack of motivation, chronic disorganization and distraction.

This crystal is known to heal headaches, especially those associated with developing your psychic powers.

Sugilite Gemstone

Sugilite derives its name from the Japanese petrologist Ken-ichi Sugi, who first identified it in 1944 in Iwagi Islet, Japan. Sugilite also contains the Greek word Lithos meaning stone.

The specimens that Dr. Sugi found were not gemstone quality. In 1979 a Sugilite deposit was discovered in the Southern Kalahari Desert of South Africa. The sugilite here was rich with the manganese element that gives sugilite its rich purple to pink colours. In 1980 sugilite was classified as a rare gemstone.

Sugilite gemstone has a range of colours in pinkish, lilac, plum, magenta, reddish-purple and bluish-purple. However, it is the one-coloured, intense reddish-purple sugilite that is much sought after and thus the most highly valued.

Sugilite has a hardness ranging from 5.5 to 6.5 on the Mohs scale. However, it is considered fairly tough due to its indistinct cleavage. Usually it occurs mixed with chalcedony quartz or black matrix which results in different hardness. These inclusions such as veins, layers, patches and other interesting patterns are also desirable and much sought after in sugilite.

Sugilite is opaque and some extremely rare gemstones are translucent. It has a glass-like, resinous and waxy luster.

Sugilite is occasionally dyed to enhance colour, especially the dark coloured sugilite. Note, imitation plastic sugilite is known and sold very cheaply.

Sugilite gives positive energy and helps the wearer focus on the tasks at hand and achieve his or her goals. It gives the feelings of spiritual love and helps to reduce stress. Sugilite has the yang fire energy in feng-shui.

Sugilite helps us to align our energies with the universal energy thus enabling us to attain higher states of consciousness.

The strong violet energy is extremely healing for reaching deep spiritual wisdom and love.

Sugilite has been referred to as "sugilite jade" or "purple turquoise" but it is related to neither of these.

Charoite Gemstone

Charoite is derived either from the Chara River which is a river that is near where this gemstone was first discovered or from the Russian word for Charm, Bewitchment or Enchantment which is CHARY. This is a true magical stone that emits a magical enchanting aura.

It was Vladimir Ditmar who first discovered charoite in 1948. However, it was only in 1977 that charoite was officially identified by the Russian scientific community.

Charoite usually comes in purple with distinctive swirls of lilac and violet, wispy white with an occasional dab of orange, brown, red, yellow and black. Another gemstone that looks similar to charoite is sugilite. However, sugilite lacks the feather-like white streaks and swirling enticing patterns of charoite.

Charoite has a hardness ranging from 4.5 to 5 on the Mohs scale. It is often cut en cabochons and into ovals, pears and rectangles.

Charoite is usually opaque though some parts can be translucent and even transparent depending on the minerals that made up charoite.

It comes with a luster like that of the finest pearls with intricate feather-like patterns and swirls that make charoite a very unique gemstone.

The most sought after charoite is that of intense purple and soft lilac with wisps of white streaks and eye-catching swirls and patterns.

Although rare and inexpensive, charoite is not known to be synthesized or man-made, neither is it treated in any way to enhance its appearance or colour. It is 100% natural. Besides, its signature unique swirls is impossible to be replicated.

Charoite is known as the Stone of Transformation. It has the power to transmute negative energy into positive energy, sickness to health, weakness to strength and power. It energizes your complete body system and gets rid of stress and anxieties. It can help you to access your hidden extrasensory powers and enhance your intuition. It is truly a spiritual stone that helps you to connect to higher powers and the divine.

In addition, some charoites possess the cat's eye effect, giving it a translucent marbling look. Charoite is a natural gemstone mined only in Siberia.

Super Seven Quartz Crystal

The super seven quartz crystal is also known as the Melody Stone and the Sacred Seven. As the name suggests, the super seven quartz is a quartz crystal that is made up of seven minerals, such as goethite, cacoxenite, lepidocrocite, rutile, amethyst, clear quartz and smoky quartz.

Super seven usually occurs in a light to deep purple colour with dark brown, orange and red inclusions. Some specimens have rutile inclusions that give the crystal a brown, black, purple or gray shades. Other specimens contain hematite that give them an unusual red hue.

This amazing crystal is found in only one place in the world – the Minas Gerais region of Brazil which is also called “Espirito Santo” meaning “'Holy Spirit”.

Super Seven is a combination of seven different crystals, therefore it carries the properties of all seven crystals in one. It is for the same reason one of the most powerful stone available for healing purposes. This potent psychic powerhouse is highly sought after by healers.

Super Seven retains its own energy in abundance and never requires cleansing or energizing.

Scapolite Gemstone

Scapolite is derived from the Greek word SKAPOS meaning Stick or Stem, referring to the long columnar formation of its crystal. It is a rare gemstone that is loved for its brilliance and vitreous luster.

Scapolite is also known as Wernerite, named after Abraham Gottlob Werner, its discoverer. It is also known as Mizzonite, Dipyre, Marialite and Meionite.

Scapolite comes in a range of colours that include yellow, orange, pink, violet, brown, grey and colourless. However, it is usually found in honey yellow. The most sought after Scapolite is the bright purple specimens.

Scapolite has a hardness ranging from 5.5 to 6 on the Mohs scale. It is transparent to translucent with a glass-like luster. It has a good cleavage.

Scapolite occurs with an excellent transparency and often inclusions are found in large specimens. This results in the cat’s eye effect that is sharp and mesmerising. Cat’s eye scapolite usually comes in green, brown and grey colours.

Some violet coloured scapolite has been known to be treated or irradiated. It is usually the yellow scapolite that is irradiated and turned into a lavender colour. However, scapolite also comes in beautiful natural violet. The difference between these two is that the colours of the natural violet scapolite does not fade with exposure to heat and light, the treated scapolite does.

Scapolite carries a powerful healing energy for both mental and physical disorders. It comes in a wide variety of colours; each colour can help target a specific area of the body that is out of harmony and needs to be brought back into balance.

Scapolite is known as The Stone for Problem Solving because it can help the wearer solve a life problem that had its origin in the past or present.

Scapolite is also known as The Stone of Achievement because it can provide inspiration where needed and bring about change and purpose in life. It can help the wearer in decision making, balance the emotions and encourages the wearer to give love.

Scapolite is extremely rare and thus only known to true gemstone enthusiasts. Because of its lack of durability, it is best to use scapolite as earrings, pins, pendants or brooches.

Apatite Gemstone

Apatite comes from the Greek word APATAO which means TO DECEIVE. This is because when it was first discovered in 1552, apatite was often mistaken for other gemstones like aquamarine, beryl, pedirot, chrysolite, tourmaline etc. Apatite was once believed to be the highly prized paraiba blue tourmaline which is usually found in Brazil.

Apatite is a group of phosphate minerals with fluorite, chloride or hydroxyl. These diverse chemical compositions is what gives the apatite gemstones their different colours.

Apatite comes in various colours of green, blue, yellow, violet, white, grey, brown, red, colourless and transparent. Exquisite rich violet apatite from Maine are highly valued by gem lovers.

The transparency of apatite varies from transparent to translucent and it has a vitreous luster. Its hardness is 5 on the Mohs scale which makes it much softer than its lookalike tourmaline which is 7 to 7.5.

Due to its softness and brittle nature, apatite is a challenge to facet into gems as it is vulnerable to scratches and breakage. Nonetheless, apatite jewellery with excellent clarity and colour are a sight to behold.

It was discovered that the moon rocks collected by astronauts during the Apollo mission contained apatite.

Apatite gives you confidence and self-esteem to achieve your goals. It boosts your energy and motivation to succeed. It helps you rid of all the negative feelings and doubts within you.

Apatite is the gemstone of manifestation. It gives you mental clarity to work out the stumbling blocks which are inhibiting your life.

It is a bringer of prophetic dreaming. It is recommended to place apatite under your pillow before going to sleep.

Lepidolite Gemstone

Lepidolite was first discovered in the 18th century. Lepidolite derives its name from the Greek words LEPIDOS and LITHOS meaning Scale and Stone, which refers to its scale-like appearance from the flakes or sheets of lithium.

Lepidolite occurs in a monoclinic crystal structure and is usually found in granite pegmatites and tin veins. It is often found with other crystals such as tourmaline and quartz.

Lepidolite ranges from pink to purple in colour. It can be pale pink, purplish or reddish-pink, reddish, violet-gray and sometimes light grey. Rare specimens can be colourless or yellow.

Lepidolite has a hardness ranging from 2.5 - 4 on the Mohs scale. It has a perfect cleavage. It is transparent to translucent with a glass-like to pearly luster. Lepidolite is not known to be enhanced in any way.

Lepidolite can be confused with muscovite which is the most common member of the mica group. However, lepidolite can be identified by its excellent sheet cleavage crystal, pebble-like appearance and lilac coloration.

Lepidolite clears electromagnetic pollution and should be placed on computers to absorb the emanations.

Lepidolite is also known as the Peace Stone and the Grandmother Stone because of its nurturing and calming metaphysical properties. It is a great comfort to those who are feeling stressed, fatigued nervous or sad.

Tanzanite Gemstone

Tanzanite is the blue and violet variety of the mineral zoisite. It is of a calcium aluminum silicate chemical composition. Its crystal structure is orthorhombic, multifaced prismatic and mostly striated.

Tanzanite has a hardness ranging from 6.5 to 7 on the Mohs scale. Together with a perfect cleavage, it can split or fracture if struck too hard. As rings are more prone to scratches, it is usually protected by bezel setting.

Tanzanite is transparent, has a perfect cleavage and a vitreous luster. It shows no inclusions that can be seen with the naked eye.

Tanzanite is extremely rare, 1000 times rarer than diamonds.

Tanzanite comes in various intensity and saturation of blues ranging from light sky blue to deep midnight blue. Within the same gemstone are tints of violet and purple. It also comes in violet colours. However, it is the blue ones that fetch the highest prices.

Tanzanite is a bridge between the spiritual plane and the physical plane. It enhances one’s psychic abilities and brings the gift of fortune, clairvoyance, intuition and self-knowledge.

Purple is another sacred colour that was loved by the ancients worldwide. In Rome, purple was the sacred color of royalty. For example, blue and violet-hued colors were attributed to Jupiter, the same colours found in tanzanite.

Tanzanite is the official December birthstone.

Purple Spinel

Spinel comes from the Greek word SPINOS which means Spark.

Spinel is transparent to opaque, with a glass-like luster. It has a hardness of 8 on the Mohs scale. That means that it can be cut and faceted into almost any shapes, although circles, ovals and cushion cuts are the most popular.

Spinel has been known by the nobility and jewellers since the eleventh century. At this time spinels and rubies were of equal value and this all changed in the 18th century when rubies acquire a higher value than spinel.

Spinel is a rare and often flawless gemstone which comes in a wide variety of colours. It is a natural stone with no enhancement or treatment given. Due to its rarity, spinels are often synthesized in laboratories.

Manganese and cobalt are also found in spinel and sometimes two or three of these elements can combine to create the blues, purples, violets and greys that can also be seen in this colourful gemstone.

Spinels are rejuvenating, re-energizing and inspiring gemstones. It is a destroyer of obstacles, giver of optimism and determination to succeed in whatever project you have set your mind to accomplish.

Violet or purple spinel - stimulates spiritual development.

Purple Zircon

Zircon is said to have been derived from the Arabic word "Zirk" which means "Jewel" though some say that it comes from the Arabic "Zarqun" which means "Red" or from the Persian word "Zargun" which means "Golden". Nevertheless, it was in 1783 that Abraham Werner gave this precious stone the name Zircon.

Zircon has a high refractive index (1.810 to 2.024) which is somewhat close to that of diamond (2.417 to 2.419). It also has a double refraction. This means that light entering the gemstone splits into two rays and you get double the sparkle of a diamond. Hence, zircon comes also with an impressive fire or dispersion which is the ability to split white light into many spectral colors.

Zircon has a hardness ranging from 6.5 to 7.5 on the Mohs scale. It is transparent to translucent with a vitreous to brilliant sheen luster. It comes in a variety of colours such as colourless, yellow, brown, orange, red, violet, black, green and blue. The various colours are due to traces of impurities.

Most zircon gemstones are free from inclusions. That is to say, these inclusions cannot be seen by the naked eye but can be seen under magnification. The most valuable zircons are transparent to translucent with that dazzling birefringence that makes them different from other gemstones.

During the Middle Ages, zircon was believed to be able to help the wearer asleep and ward off nightmares. It was also believed that Zircon gives honor, wisdom and prosperity to its owner.

Purple Tourmaline Rubellite

Rubellite derives its name from the latin word “rubellus” meaning “reddish”. In the Middle Ages, tourmalines as well as any other scarlet stones such as spinel, garnets, and ruby were called "lal" meaning "darling", "precious", or "beloved", from the Sanskrit "lala".

Rubellites are a variety of elbaite tourmaline. It occurs with pink to red, often in a very rich purple, orange, or brown colours.

Deep pinkish red to slightly purplish red are the most desirable colors. They almost always contain needle-like inclusions.

Rubellites have a hardness of 7 to 7.5 with no cleavage. Thus, they are great for any type of jewellery. It comes with a glass-like luster and is transparent to translucent.

'Caesar Ruby', is a rubellite pendant in the form of a bunch of grapes, currently exhibited at the the Diamond Fund of Russia, Moscow Kremlin.

Rubellites can be irradiated and heat treated to enhance its colour.

The ancient Egyptians firmly believed that tourmaline could heal the nervous system, blood diseases and lymph glands. Ancient magicians relied upon this stone for protection against evil spirits.

Today, tourmaline is still revered as a psychic shield deflecting and dispelling negative energies on all fronts.

Tourmaline promotes healing and brings balance to the soul. It is often referred to as a stone of wisdom as it inspires positive attitude and stimulates creativity and learning.