Purple gemstones have been used as jewelry since ancient times. This luxurious tone reflects class and prestige, adding a touch of elegance and sophistication everywhere it's seen. But you're probably wondering what purple gemstones are out there and which are the most popular.
With that, we've compiled a list of purple gems, all with different varieties—from lilac, violet, mauve, and lavender to wine and mulberry. Here, we show you everything you need to know about these beautiful gems so you can choose which one suits you best.
Top 15 Purple Gemstones
Below, we'll teach you all you need to know about these beautiful purple gems.
These are some of the most luxurious gemstones around—and while diamonds are typically clear, some of the rarest one's are actually natural color variations. Purple diamonds occur when a lot of hydrogen is present during the diamond's formation. Hydrogen hardens the diamond, so purple diamonds are much more durable than their traditional counterparts - which is hard to imagine.
Jewelers look at the purple shade inside the diamond to determine its value. A deep purple diamond is more rare and therefore a higher quality than a light orchid color. Different shades of purple diamonds have nicknames such as Lilac, Orchid, Lavender, and Grape diamonds.
Also, these stones have a much higher value in carats than traditional diamonds, so they are very expensive—ranging anywhere between $1,900 - $25,000 per carat.
Since purple diamonds are rare, they’re also hard to find. They’re only found in a few locations in Australia, Russia, and Canada.
Although purple spinels are rare they’re still somehow affordable. This brilliant gem comes in many purple shades—but mauve and lilac shades are the most popular. While spinel has many colors, the purple spinel is one of the most common variations.
Purple spinel is popular for everyday jewelry because it’s hard (8 on Mohs scale) but, like most gems, it goes with any attire.
There are lab-grown purple spinels, but most varieties are natural and untreated. Artificially reproducing its purple hue is not possible because naturally occurring beryllium gives this stone its color. Currently, spinels come from Sri Lanka, Myanmar, and limestones in both Afghanistan and Tajikistan.
Amethyst is the most popular purple gemstone. At one point in time, it was as precious as diamonds, sapphires, and rubies! Unfortunately, this ended when large deposits were found in Brazil, making them very common today.
However, Amethysts come in all shades of purple, making it popular among those who love its color—and the darkest hues are the best and most expensive. The price for an Amethyst can range from $10-$700 depending on its quality. While stones with a deeper color can fetch higher prices, long exposure to the sun can make it loose color.
Amethyst gemstones are a great addition to any woman's collection—it can blend with both colorful and neutral outfits. Lighter tones add a gentle vibe to your getup, while deep hues can make you look more vibrant. But keep in mind that the Amethyst only rates a 7 on the Mohs scale, so avoid scratching or bumping your amethyst ring or bracelet.
Purple Chalcedony is a quartz stone that comes from Mamuju, Indonesia. Its various shades of purple can appear as both opaque and translucent. Purple Chalcedony's hues can range from the soft, light lilac to a deeper purple, making them highly sought-after by purple gemstone enthusiasts. It also has an affordable price ranging from $10-$500 depending on its color.
This stone's hardness is between 6.5 to 7 on the Mohs scale. It has no cleavages—meaning that its crystals do not split in the same direction, making it both durable and easy to maintain.
This gemstone's variety of purple shades are perfect for day-to-day wear and matches a bohemian look nicely. You can incorporate it in many jewelry designs—from large necklaces and rings to simple earrings and delicate bracelets.
While sapphires are known for their bright blue coloration, they can also come in a beautiful purple hue. Purple sapphires are much more luxurious compared to blue sapphires since sapphires that come in a purple hue are incredibly rare. And because the purple coloration comes naturally, these stones don't usually need to be treated.
Unfortunately, the color of purple sapphire can change when exposed to radiation and heat—if this gem is overheated, the color will fade. However, you can manipulate its color to an extent. If a dark purple sapphire undergoes treatment, it turns into a red-ish color, while overheating a lighter-colored purple sapphire will cause its color to darken.
Purple sapphires form when large quantities of chromium are present while the gem is forming. This gem's strength and beauty make it a perfect choice for those who wish to get an engagement ring that displays color. Its price ranges from $800-$5,000 and is very durable — rating a 9 on the Mohs scale of hardness.
This particular gem exhibits high brilliance and can compete with the likes of Tanzanite and Sapphire. It’s available in purple and blue hues, but its purple-violet color is the most popular choice.
Iolite gets its name from the Greek word "Ios," meaning violet. Even though this stone is affordable and abundant, it has the appearance of a more expensive gemstone. This makes it ideal if you want a beautiful purple gem but don't want to break the bank. It costs around $9-$50 depending on the stone's brilliance.
Unfortunately, it's prone to chipping even though it has a 7 to 7.5 rating on the Mohs scale. This stone has a distinct cleavage in one direction, making it susceptible to breaking, so be careful. To make sure that your piece lasts longer, be sure to get it as a necklace or earrings so you won't bump into anything!
Jade is a typically green gemstone, but a purple variety exists. Purple jade comes in various shades, from light purple to dark purple. These stones also have a glossy luster and a smooth texture but can sometimes take on a waxy and dull appearance. And while this gemstone isn't normally transparent, its value increases the clearer it gets.
On the Mohs scale of hardness, the purple jade has a rating of 6.5 to 7, but abrasive and sharp objects can scratch it. Don't use abrasives when cleaning your purple jade—it should only be cleaned using water, some mild soap, and dried with a soft cloth. While China is known as the biggest market for this gemstone, the finest purple jade source is from Myanmar.
Fluorite gemstones come in many colors, but their most recognizable shade is a brilliant purple. This stone exhibits good transparency and is quite popular for spiritual practices but not commonly in jewelry. If you're looking to wear pieces made from Fluorite, earrings would be your best bet—or opt for another low-impact version.
Generally, fluorite gemstones are cut from deeply colored stones. Still, they can come from those with less intense color forms. Because of its deep purple hue, Fluorite can closely resemble an Amethyst. It's also brightly fluorescent in ultraviolet light—hence the name Fluorite.
Usually, only gemstone collectors would purchase this stone because it's fragile. It only ranks at 4 on the Mohs scale and can cleave in four directions. You have to take special care of your Fluorite stones, so it doesn't get chipped or scratched. Fluorite is abundant and is from the United States, Australia, Britain, Germany, China, Norway, Peru, Brazil, and Mexico.
Tourmaline, one of the most common gemstones, comes in different colors, including purple—varying from bright magenta to darker purple. This stone is heavily faceted and sometimes undergoes heat treatment to enhance its brilliance—so make sure you ask your jeweler if it's treated or not. Pinkish to red-colored stones, in particular, go through treatment to improve their color.
It scores a 7-7.5 on the Mohs scale and is quite durable and can cost anywhere between $400-$2000. You can source purple tourmaline worldwide, but Brazil has the most important deposits.
While this stone isn’t as popular, it's just as exquisite as the others. It mainly comes in pink and purple shades and is famous for its pleochroism (it displays two colors). Furthermore, Kunzite is unique thanks to its phosphorescence (light emitted by a substance without needing combustion), which is comparable to that of diamonds.
Kunzite is a relatively new gem that was discovered by and named after George Frederick Kunz in 1902—a gemologist from Tiffany & Co. While purple Kunzite is usually very light, it also comes in vivid and bright purple shades.
Kunzite can sell from anywhere between $10-$20 per carat. The best stones should have good transparency, no treatments, and no inclusions. Although Kunzite has a 6.5 to 7 rating on the Mohs scale, it lacks toughness because of its cleavage. George Kunz discovered it in California, and there are large deposits in Brazil, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.
Sugilite, one of the rarest gemstones, is relatively unknown to people outside Asia. The Japanese geologist Ken-ichi Sugi discovered it in 1944. It has a distinctive purple coloration and is either translucent or opaque. However, there are variations with a light pink-purple hue. The highest quality Sugilite needs to both be even-toned and have a vivid shade of purple.
Sugilite isn't known as a strong stone, so using it for jewelry isn't common, but does exist. Even so, Sugilite is still a beautiful stone with an interesting pattern—and no two stones are alike. With a hardness of 5.5 to 6.5 on the Mohs scale, Sugilite jewelry is best reserved for special occasions.
This stone occurs naturally, and jewelers only facet them—it's rarely enhanced. That's why people mostly get it in its natural form. And while Sugilite has sometimes been called purple turquoise, there are no connections between these minerals. There are Sugilite deposits in Australia, Japan, India, South Africa, and Canada.
While jasper usually has a red coloration, it also comes in purple. It's a unique-looking stone that has a natural pattern just like Kunzite, so no two stones look alike. Furthermore, purple jasper is a bit more opaque compared to the other colors. And like Sugilite, it is rarely faceted, so you get to enjoy its natural beauty.
Purple jasper is quite durable, ranking at 6.5 to 7 on the Mohs scale. Purple jasper has a unique structure of patterns and veins that make it durable. If it's maintained well, this stone can last for quite a long time. Also, its unique, focused look is the perfect partner for other statement pieces and costume jewelry.
The purple coloration comes from a blend of red and blue jasper, which gives its warm nature. And it adds a touch of royalty without having to break the bank. Jasper occurs worldwide. You can find them in many places, including India, Russia, Kazakhstan, Indonesia, Egypt, Madagascar, Australia, Brazil, Venezuela, Uruguay, and the United States. Fortunately, it's a more common gemstone than some others on this list, and its price ranges from $5-$50.
Charoite is a rare gemstone that you can only find in Siberia. It can have light to medium-dark purple colorations along with swirling patterns. It's one of the few gemstones that are so distinctive that any gemologist can identify it on-sight.
However, even though this stone rates a 5 to 6 on the Mohs scale, it has good cleavage and is sensitive to heat. Make sure you use a soft brush, mild detergent, and warm water when cleaning it. While it may be rare, it is a bargain gemstone since even the highest quality pieces will only cost a few dollars at most.
To ensure that you get the best piece, look for one with pretty hues, a distinct pattern, and an appealing shape. Furthermore, check for a silky, moderate chatoyant glow to add value to a piece.
Purple agate is a stone made from small quartz crystals that displays beautiful layers of purple and white colors. While this gem can occur naturally, some variants are dyed to give them their color. Nevertheless, these stones are favorites in the jewelry industry due to the lovely contrast of intense purples against the soft white bands.
Purple agates come in many different sizes and shapes, and their price may vary based on origin, artistry, and labor. For example, a pair of earrings may cost $5, while a necklace can be up to $100. Of course, this will also depend on the intensity of the color that the piece has.
Purple agate originates from Brazil and Botswana. It has a Mohs scale hardness of around 7 and no cleavage, so it's durable enough to be worn every day! But you might want to consider placing a ring piece in a protective setting.
How To Pick Purple Gemstones For Your Jewelry
Now that you know everything about these beautiful gemstones, you need to learn how to choose the best one for you. Consider the following:
Each gemstone has varying hardness levels. Take note of how the stone fares according to the Mohs scale. Softer stones like Fluorite are prone to breaking and should only be worn on special occasions. A durable gem such as a diamond is ideal for your daily wear.
Purple gemstones can come in different shades and tones. Keep your eye on this since the hue determines the quality and value of some gems. For instance, Iolites are known for their pleochroic properties, while deep purple amethysts are the most sought-after variety.
This is the most popular way to indicate quality. Carat refers to the weight of the gemstones. Larger carat sizes don’t determine the quality of your stone but do often price. Make sure that you know the carat size and identify any inclusions or flaws.
Cut Of The Stone
Some cuts are more common than others. An oval shape will evenly distribute the gemstone's weight while still retaining the gem's aesthetic and brilliance. Some buyers may not consider the cut as an indicator of quality. But the way a stone is cut can determine its brilliance as the shape affects how the light hits the stone.
Unique Patterns In The Stone
Many gemstones are cut and polished. However, some are left in their natural form due to the patterns and colors they display.
Metal Used To Display The Stone
Keep in mind that the gemstone isn't the only thing you need to keep an eye on when buying purple gemstone jewelry. You also need to consider the material or metal used—it will impact the piece's quality and looks. Be sure to choose white or silver metals since it highlights the brilliance of the purple gemstone. You can choose from:
- White gold
You should also consider the metal’s grade. If you're opting to use silver, it should be 925 sterling silver to ensure that it's tough. If you’re buying raw stones, pay attention to your gem's color and see if it complements the metal color you’re mounting it in. Yellow gold is another option for lighter purple gems since it brings out softer colors.
Best place to buy purple gemstones?
Purple is a relatively popular color for gemstones, so it's in high demand. Most physical stores will have a stock of Amethyst, while other uncommon gemstones may be harder to find. However, it's a different story if you look online. You may even find rare stones if you look in the right places. Always remember to purchase from a licensed and reputable jeweler and do a background check on the store before making any purchases though.
Don't forget to ask how the stone was treated and always ask for a certificate of authenticity. If you intend to buy an expensive gemstone, take your time and ensure the item is genuine.