The largest amethyst geode (grotto of amethysts) is the Empress of Uruguay. It is 11 feet high and weighs 2 ½ tons. Inside are tens of thousands of high quality amethysts, all naturally formed.
The amethyst is a type of quartz renowned for its purple hue. It is silicon oxide, just like other quartzes. The stone is noted for its transparent color. Its beautiful appearance has made it a popular choice for necklaces and jewelry.
During ancient times, it was believed to have healing powers. The stone has also been associated with mysticism and is mentioned in ancient mystic / magical texts. It is the birthstone for individuals born in February.
Whether you are holding the largest amethyst or the smallest, certain traits will be quite common. The high quality amethysts will have a deep rich purple color.
Many of them grow to large sizes. The large ones can be used with other precious metals like silver and gold. The word amethyst is Greek, meaning not intoxicated. The Greeks gave it this name because of their belief that it can keep people from getting drunk.
The amethyst’s color may emanate from different sources. Iron and manganese are two of the most likely sources. The stone will assume a reddish hue if the iron concentration is very high. The stone will assume a green or yellow color if the stone is heated.
In some cases, amethysts are intentionally heated to produce a desired color. Heating is also done to distribute the colors evenly. This may be necessary with some lower grade stones.
Some amethysts are located in various rock deposits. In these cases, the stone will have green, white and purple color bands. The banded amethysts are noted for their stunning appearance.
The stone is hard but delicate too. Consistent exposure to ultraviolet radiation will lead to color loss. If not taken care of, hairline fractures may appear. Extreme temperature changes may also cause deterioration. For this reason, the stone has to be handled carefully.
The value of the stone has gone down since the 19th century as numerous amethyst deposits were found all over the world. However, its beautiful colors ensure that it is still included in lists of precious stones.
The sheer abundance of the stone means several may lay claim to being the largest amethyst in the world. But when it comes to the biggest geode, the Empress of Uruguay is unmatched.