Best Purple Gemstones Used in Jewellery
Purple mostly reminds us of royalty and luxury. It is also often associated with power, ambition, extravagance, creativity, wisdom, mystery and magic. Even though purple has been a colour used in gemstone jewellery since antiquity, there aren’t many purple gems that are popular in the current time. Compared to other gem colours like red, green, and blue, that include hundreds of gemstone varieties to choose from, the amount of purple gemstones is quite lesser.
Purple is said to be a luxurious colour that depicts prestige and class. Many adorn purple gemstone jewellery to add a touch of sophistication and elegance to their outfit. In the world of gems, the colour comes in several varieties including violet, lilac, lavender, mauve, mulberry as well as wine. We have listed here some of the top purple gemstones one can use for jewellery and some features of each of them.
Amethysts are identified as the most well-known purple gemstones. Historically, this purple gem was considered a cardinal gemstone (precious above all other gems) along with diamonds, sapphires, rubies and emeralds. However, with the discovery of its large deposits in Brazil, amethyst became an abundant stone, and its value dropped, making it affordable to suit almost all budgets.
Amethysts occur in all shades of purple, with those displaying the darkest purple hues considered the best. This gemstone is often used in jewellery due to its ability to blend with both neutral as well as colourful outfits. The lighter shades of this stone add a subtle vibe to your attires while deep ones add vibrancy. Amethysts require reasonable care to maintain its lustre and colour. They are brittle and can chip or crack when exposed to rough use. However, if managed well, amethyst jewellery can last a lifetime.
More Features: Durable enough for all jewellery types (Mohs hardness 7), colour can fade if exposed to direct light for too long.
Purple diamonds are gorgeous to look at but are exclusive too. The spectacular purple shade in diamond is created due to the presence of a high amount of hydrogen during its formation. These purple stones are scarce and expensive, especially if the crystal is vivid and saturated in colour. However, synthetic and enhanced varieties are available, which are relatively much more affordable.
Purple diamonds of high-quality have a deeper purple shade but are tough to find. Some of the purple diamond’s shades are known to have acquired nicknames such as Lilac, Orchid, Lavender, Grape and Plum. They’re found in a few places globally and are currently mined in Russia, Australia, and recently Canada. High-quality purple diamonds are generally hunted by gem collectors and diamond enthusiasts or those with a fondness for exclusive jewellery.
More features: Karat value more than colourless diamonds, extremely durable (Mohs hardness 10)
Purple sapphires are not abundant but are still as beautiful as its blue counterparts. The purple colour in sapphires occurs due to traces of elements like chromium present during the stone’s formation. People often confuse purple sapphires with amethysts, but purple sapphires are more durable and have better toughness compared to diamonds. These purple gems are incredibly resistant to breakage and chipping.
While most sapphires in the market are heat-treated for improving colour and clarity, purple sapphires are not because their natural colouring is good enough. Due to its brilliance and durability, this shade of sapphires is an excellent choice for everyday wear purple gemstone jewellery, like an engagement ring.
More Features: Quite expensive and rare, strong and durable (Mohs hardness 9).
Since iolites are highly abundant and cheaper, they tend to be the most sought-after gemstones. Their stunning beauty and excellent brilliance can compete with more expensive stones like sapphire or tanzanite. These stones occur in a variety of blue-purple shades, but due to their abundance, they are not highly valued. Iolite gem has distinct cleavage that makes it vulnerable to chipping or cracking if struck with force.
It is fairly durable, affordable and easily accessible, which is why it is used in almost all types of jewellery. When crafted on rings, it is more appealing to set iolite in protective settings like bezel or halo. Beautifully faceted iolite gems sparkle with such brilliance that can attract eyes even from a distance. Iolite is perfect for jewellery items where it can catch more light, like rings or dangling earrings.
More Features: Affordable and abundant, fairly hard (Mohs hardness 7 to 7.5).
Purple spinel comes in a wide range of shades, out of which lilac and mauve are considered to be the most attractive. Purple spinel gems are bit expensive but not as valuable or sought-after as the red and blue variations. It is a reasonably durable gemstone and suits well for every day wear jewellery
Purple spinel is often cut into faceted gemstone shapes to enhance its already appealing brilliance. Although lab-grown versions of purple spinel can be found, it is hardly improved or treated. This means that most of these purple stones which are available in the market are natural varieties since the stone’s colour cannot be synthesized.
More Features: Somewhat rare, reasonably tough and durable (Mohs hardness 8).
Purple chalcedony occurs in beautiful shades of purple, ranging from light lilac to dark purple. The gemstone is usually translucent to opaque, with a vitreous or waxy lustre and has a very appealing look with vibrant natural colour. They are quite affordable and make an ideal choice for bohemian as well as ethnic jewellery designs.
Chalcedony comes with a microcrystalline structure and lacks crystal formations within it. As a result, the gem is compact and very durable, with no cleavages. Purple chalcedony is a tough gemstone, mostly cut in cabochon or used in beautiful carvings and engravings. But, sometimes these stones are faceted to provide more depth and brilliance to the piece of gemstone jewellery
More Features: Relatively affordable, quite durable with medium toughness (Mohs hardness 6.5 to 7).