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Amethyst is the most precious of the quartz minerals and the birthstone for the month of February. This particular crystal is the lucky outcome of manganese and iron in clear quartz, creating wonderful varieties of colour from light pinkish violet to deepest purple. It was originally one of the Cardinal Gems, the Old World’s top five stones, sharing glittering stardom with diamonds, emeralds, rubies and sapphires. But its position toppled with the discovery of The New World and rich amethyst mines yielding plentiful quantities in Brazil. The finest amethysts with evenly distributed colour and perfect transparency remain very special. The deep purple Siberian amethyst with its flecks of red and blue are said to command the highest prices.