Purple fluorite is one of the gemstones that can be mistaken for amethyst. If you know a little about crystals, you might know that they are not the same thing.
But did you know that there are 11 major differences between amethyst and purple fluorite? If you want to know what these are and pick up some tips along the way, then this is the blog post for you.
In this article, you’ll get 11 differences between purple fluorite and amethyst, and learn a little about both along the way.
Purple fluorite and amethyst are different crystals
Purple fluorite is not related to amethyst in any way.
Purple fluorite and amethyst are different crystals made up of different elements. Amethyst (SiO2) is quartz, which consists of oxygen and silicon. But fluorite (CaF2) is a halide mineral made up of calcium and fluorine.
However, both get their purple color from manganese:
Purple amethyst gets its color from iron and manganese. The purple in fluorite is from trace amounts of manganese, which replace calcium in the crystal structure.
They have different crystal systems
There are seven types of crystal systems that we know of, and each system gives the crystal a different shape when it forms.
Purple fluorite belongs to the cubic crystal system, while amethyst belongs to the trigonal crystal system. This gives raw fluorite tightly packed cubes and makes it more rectangular than raw amethyst, which has prisms with pointed ends.
Purple fluorite and the cubic crystal system
In the cubic crystal system, crystals have a symmetrical shape with equally sized faces. The crystal structure is made up of tightly packed cubes.
These cubes are often slightly lengthened, giving raw fluorite a rectangular look.
Amethyst and the trigonal crystal system
In the trigonal crystal system, crystals have threefold symmetry. The structure has hexagonal prisms, with a six-sided pyramid at each end.
These hexagonal prisms give raw amethyst its distinct shape, and the pyramids give it a pointed end.
Amethyst calms and purple fluorite brings focus
Amethyst and purple fluorite both have healing and metaphysical properties, but each one brings us different gifts.
Amethyst is a stone of calm, balance, and inner peace. It promotes spiritual growth, enhances intuition and psychic abilities, and helps with stress relief. Amethyst also relieves headaches and improves sleep quality.
Purple fluorite brings mental clarity, focus, and concentration. It enhances learning and memory, and helps you make better decisions and solve problems. This crystal also brings emotional balance and stress relief, and it boosts the immune system.
Amethyst and purple fluorite are found in different countries
Amethyst is more commonly found in Brazil, Uruguay, and Zambia, while there’s lots of purple fluorite in China, Mexico, and the United States (specifically in Illinois). That said, both minerals are found in countries across the world, and their quality depends a lot on the location.
Here’s a table comparing some of the countries where amethyst and purple fluorite are found:
|United States||Abundant (Arizona, Colorado, and North Carolina)||Abundant (Illinois)|
Amethyst is more expensive than purple fluorite
Without a doubt, amethyst is more expensive than purple fluorite. The average retail price per carat for amethyst is $5 – $500, while it’s only $1 – $50 for purple fluorite. So there’s a major price difference between these crystals, especially for higher quality and larger pieces.
Here’s a table comparing the average retail price per carat in USD for amethyst and purple fluorite:
|Crystal||Average Retail Price Per Carat (USD)|
|Amethyst||$5 – $500|
|Purple fluorite||$1 – $50|
These price ranges are quite broad, I know, so let’s dig a little deeper and see what we can find.
I took some real-world examples and created this comparison table of prices for amethyst and purple fluorite from different countries:
|Crystal (Source Country)||Price Per Carat (USD)|
|Amethyst (Brazil)||$10 – $5 000|
|Amethyst (Uruguay)||$5 – $1 000|
|Amethyst (Zambia)||$20 – $1 000|
|Purple fluorite (China)||$1 – $50|
|Purple fluorite (Mexico)||$1 – $100|
|Purple fluorite (United States)||$2 – $30|
The table above shows that amethyst is always more expensive than purple fluorite as a starting point no matter where the crystal is from, and purple fluorite has a cap at around $100 per carat.
And what makes some amethyst pieces cost $5 000 dollars per carat? These are the deep, rich purple-colored gemstones with good clarity (few or no imperfections) that Brazil, in particular, is famous for.
Amethyst is harder than fluorite
The Mohs scale ranks how hard minerals are based on what can scratch them and what they can scratch. There are 10 minerals on this scale, each with a hardness rating from 1 (softest) to 10 (hardest). Minerals with a higher rating can scratch those with a lower rating but not the other way round.
Amethyst has a Mohs hardness of 7, so it’s quite hard and durable. But fluorite only has a Mohs rating of 4, so it’s much softer and more easily scratched. Amethyst can scratch fluorite but fluorite cannot scratch amethyst.
The hardness factor is one of the reasons why amethyst is much more popular in jewelry than fluorite…
Although it is possible to find fluorite jewelry if you look for it, like this fluorite bracelet on Amazon, you need to take care not to bump it or scrape it on hard surfaces or there’s a chance it will get scratched or damaged.
How does this help you?
If you’re buying jewelry, stick with amethyst. If you really want purple fluorite jewelry, opt for a necklace or bracelet where there’s less chance of it getting bumped and damaged compared to, say, a ring.
Amethyst can be darker purple than fluorite
While both purple fluorite and amethyst come in various shades of purple, amethyst’s coloring has the potential to be more intense and vibrant than purple fluorite can ever be.
Amethyst’s color ranges from pale lilac to deep purple, with the most prized crystals having a rich, saturated color. The crystal’s color can even be affected by heat treatment, giving it a darker, more uniform color.
But purple fluorite’s color is usually muted and ranges from pale lavender to violet, without the deeper or dark purples.
Some amethyst shines like fluorite, but most doesn’t
Purple fluorite is usually shiny and transparent to translucent, which means that light can pass through it but objects can only be seen through it partially or not at all.
Some amethyst is also shiny or glassy, but many crystals are frosted from microscopic minerals in the crystals. Amethysts that shine are considered to be very high quality and are often kept for higher-priced jewelry.
Fluorite is found in veins but amethyst is found in geodes
Most purple fluorite is found in hydrothermal veins, often with metallic minerals like silver and copper. Amethyst is usually found in volcanic rocks and geodes, which are hollow cavities lined with crystals. There are often other quartz varieties with amethyst, such as citrine and smoky quartz.
Here’s how each of these crystals formed…
How purple fluorite formed
Millions of years ago, hot liquids flowed through cracks and fractures in the Earth’s crust. These fluids usually came from volcanos or were heated groundwater, and they carried dissolved minerals in them.
As these fluids cooled and pressure changes occurred, the minerals in the fluid crystallized and created veins of crystals. Fluorite formed in these veins over long periods of time.
How amethyst formed
Amethyst often forms in geodes when mineral-rich fluids containing silicon dioxide flow into holes in rocks.
Over time, the fluids deposit microscopic crystals of quartz, which eventually grow into large crystals that fill the cavity.
Fluorite breaks along cleavage lines and amethyst doesn’t
When put under pressure, some crystals make a clean, predictable break.
When we can predict where a flat surface of a crystal will break under pressure, we call it a cleavage plane. Cleavage planes are set by the crystal’s structure, and different crystals have different cleavage planes (if they have any at all).
Purple fluorite has strong, well-defined cleavage planes, so we know exactly where and how it will break. In fact, these planes are so perfect that we break fluorite into cubes to make prisms and lenses.
Amethyst has no cleavage planes, so it doesn’t break along predictable lines or patterns. Put amethyst under enough pressure and it will fracture or shatter.
Purple fluorite is fluorescent under UV light
A fluorescent crystal glows under ultraviolet (UV) light. The intensity and color of the fluorescence depends on where the crystal is from and its quality, and sometimes fluorescence is even used to identify a crystal.
Purple fluorite is fluorescent. It usually glows blue or purple under UV light because of trace amounts of rare earth elements in its structure. Fluorescence is a trait of purple fluorite and can be used to identify the crystal.
Amethyst does not typically glow under UV light, but sometimes it has a pale blue or white glow from iron traces in the crystal. Fluorescence is not a primary characteristic of amethyst and is never used to identify this crystal.