Amethyst, Dark, Natural, Heishi, 4x2mm

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Amethyst, Dark, Heishi, 4x2mm, Strands are 15 to 16 inches long. 

4x2mm strands have 145 to 150 pieces

Amethyst is a violet variety of quartz which is is transparent to translucent. It owes its violet color to natural irradiation, impurities of iron and in some cases other metals or trace elements.  Amethyst occurs in primary hues from a light pinkish violet color to a deep purple color. 

The name comes from the Greek amethystos from "not" and methyo for "intoxicate", a reference to the belief that the stone protected its owner from drunkenness.   

High quality amethyst can be found in Siberia, Sri Lanka, Brazil, Uruguay, and the far East. The ideal grade is called "Deep Siberian". Amethyst is produced in abundance in Brazil and Uruguay where it occurs in large geodes within volcanic rocks. The largest opencast amethyst vein in the world is in Austria. It is also found in South Africa, India, Canada and Zambia. 

Amethyst occurs at many localities in the United States, in Arizona, Colorado, Texas, Maine, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan. Several South Carolina amethysts are on display at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History. 

Amethyst is the state gemstone of South Carolina. 

Quartz is a hard, crystalline mineral composed of silicon and oxygen atoms. Quartz is the second most abundant  mineral in Earth's continental crust, behind feldspar. Pliny wrote nearly 2,000 years ago that quartz crystals formed from ice exposed to intense cold for long periods of time in dark clefts and caverns in the mountains. This general belief was popular in diverse cultures until the eighteenth century, when modern geology began to develop in Europe.

Hardness 7

 This is a natural stone that has had no treatment other than cutting, drilling, and polishing.

The source of these beads is South Africa and they are cut, drilled and polished in China.