Green Amethyst (AKA Prasiolite)

Green Amethyst (AKA Prasiolite)

Green amethyst is one of the most popular gems I work with.  The soft green color is flattering on just about everyone.  Other gems like purple amethyst or blue topaz give the wearer a bold pop of color, but green amethyst reads more like a neutral.  You can really wear it with everything. 

But did you know that green amethyst is actually a misnomer?

The accurate name of green amethyst is prasiolite (pronounced "PRAYS-ee-oh-light”).

Prasiolite is a yellow-green variety of quartz.  Most prasiolite is produced by heating natural amethyst, which changes the color of the amethyst from purple to green. 

In fact, natural prasiolite is extremely rare.  One occurrence of natural prasiolite is in California, and was formed when amethyst was exposed to lava flow.  The lava heated the amethyst, and converted it into prasiolite.

So, you can see why people call prasiolite “green amethyst”.  Amethyst by definition is a purple stone, so it really doesn’t make sense to call prasiolite “green amethyst”, but for better or worse, the name seems to have stuck.

No matter the name though, in my opinion, it’s a gorgeous stone.  Here are some of my favorite green amethyst pieces:


Thanks for reading!

~ Claire

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