Guide to purple gemstones

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Purple is a color that has been used in jewelry for a long time now, but the irony of the story is that not many purple gemstones are occurring. Purple gemstones do not occur in as many varieties as green, red, and blue gemstones. They occur in relatively smaller numbers. Purple is often associated with power and wealth and royalty and nobility.

Purple is a stunning color, and its jewelry will always add some touch of elegance and sophistication. The color can occur in diverse varieties such as wine, mauve, mulberry, lavender, violet, and lilac. Purple is seen as a luxurious color with so much class and prestige. Here is a list of the top purple gemstones used to manufacture exceptional jewelry.


Purple Diamond

Popularly known for the white version, diamonds may also occur in other colors such as purple and violet. However, these could be the rarest diamonds you will ever come across. And just like the other diamonds, these purple diamonds are pretty hard. They contain extraordinary brilliance since they have a high refractive index.

That technically means these gemstones are among the priciest stones. One carat could cost around $1.5M. Diamond is an April birthstone so is this purple diamond.



Alexandrite has chameleon-like qualities, and it is infrequent. The gemstone appears in the family of chrysoberyl minerals, and its colors change depending on the light. The stone can exhibit a lovely green color in daylight but can change to purplish-red or brownish if exposed to a candle flame or a lamp.

Experts describe this stone as “emerald by day, ruby by night” because of the dramatic color change. Other stones also switch colors depending on the source of light, but alexandrite is phenomenal that the effect was named “the alexandrite effect.” Its three primary colors that can be observed from different light sources include purple-red, orange, and green. The gem is not readily available in large sizes, which makes it an expensive gemstone.



It is a magnesium aluminum oxide that is quite rare. The gemstone looks just like spinel. Because of having the same color as spinel, the gemstone was known to be spinel back then before it was discovered; it is a different mineral altogether. In Dublin, Ireland, the stone was discovered in 1946 by a renowned scientist known as Count Taaffe.

The stone had a double refractive quality which made Count know that he had come across something special. Taaffeite is quite hard as it has 8 Mohs. That means the gemstone is ideal for use as jewelry.


Purple Garnet

Garnet is famous for the red gemstone, but you should be aware that the gemstone also occurs in purple. These purple crystals are a result of spessartine and pyrope. Blue garnet is the rarest of the garnet family and changes to purple when viewed from incandescent light.

This gemstone is expensive as a carat could cost up to $3,000 due to the color-changing effect. This gemstone is a January birthstone and can also be said to be an Aquarius birthstone in astrology.


Purple Opal

Also known as Opal Royale, this is a common gemstone occurring in central Mexico. However, the most valuable is the black opal. Some Silica and Fluorite inclusions bring about the purple in this gem. The opal variety may be tumbled, but you will also find it in cabochons. However, this gemstone is quite vulnerable when used as jewelry.

It has a hardness of 5 Mohs, meaning it can easily be scratched. Purple opal is also brittle, which means it can chip easily. The stone is perfect for pendants and earrings, and other jewelry pieces that can be easily maintained.


Purple Sapphire

It is a fancy sapphire and quite extraordinary. In fact, it is much rarer than blue sapphire. This gemstone does not require any type of treatment to showcase the best color display. The other gemstone, such as the pink and blue sapphires, require heat to give the best color. Purple sapphire will change its colors when viewed under different lighting. It is one of the reasons why this sapphire is quite rare and unique.


Purple Tourmaline

Tourmaline is a stunning gemstone that occurs in almost all the colors of the rainbow. The gem also occurs in purple. Purple crystals found in this stone are a result of elbaite. Purple tourmaline is not as common, but it appears outstanding when used as jewelry. It is also quite affordable.

The gem has pleochroism which makes it a vibrant and dynamic gemstone for jewelry. Most of these purple tourmalines will be faceted to bring out the gem’s brilliance and pleochroism brilliantly. It has perfect durability meaning it can last long with good care. The gem will be treated to enhance its physical properties, but the seller should let you know whether the stone is faceted or not.


Purple Spinel

Just like garnet or diamond, this precious gemstone is singly refractive. Purple spinel has a crystal shape that resembles an octahedron. This shape appears like two pyramids back-to-back. However, the gem can also have flattened crystals that do not take the shape of the octahedron. Understand that not all the deposits of this gem are suitable for jewelry.

Spinel showcases several hues from vibrant pink to bluish-green to a stoplight red to orange, blue, purple, and violet. The concentrated pinks and reds in these gems are a result of chromium present. Purple and orange stones get their color from a perfect blend of chromium and iron.



Tanzanite gemstones also occur in blue, but purple deposits are more popular. The stone was discovered in Tanzania in 1967, which is why it was named Tanzanite. Purple Tanzanite is a member of the zoisite family. Zoisite is a mineral that also occurs in yellow and green and appears glassy. Tanzanite is a December birthstone, and as much as people would say it is relatively new, it appears spectacular in jewelry pieces. The top-quality Tanzanite will appear violetish blue.

It resembles a fine sapphire though some gems may come out as more purplish, depending on how it was cut.


Purple Zircon

Zircon is widely known for the multicolored light it produces and its brilliance, especially the colorless gem. These properties have confused a lot of people as many take the stone for diamond. Zircon may appear in a rich array of colors, including the yellow palette, red, green: Blue and reddish-brown.

The blue gemstone, however, is a collector’s favorite and other gemstone enthusiasts. Zircon is often referred to as a diamond substitute. It is a fascinating stone with excellent qualities such as hardness, luster, and clarity. Zircon is a December birthstone and is used to make outstanding jewelry pieces.


Purple Idocrase

It is a rare gemstone occurring in pale blue, yellow-brown, green, and purple. Understand that idocrase is another name for vesuvianite which is a mineral. Manganese inclusion present in the gemstone is responsible for the purple crystal. Idocrase is a blend of several things such as fluoride, oxygen, metals, and hydrogen.

It is, therefore, classified under calcium aluminum silicate. The gem is a bit softer, with a rating of 6.5 Mohs. Its crystals are discovered in tetragonal structures. It also occurs in large deposits, which is often confused with grossular garnet. However, the garnet is much harder than idocrase. The purple gemstone is ideal for use as jewelry and can last for a long time if taken good care of.



This purple gemstone is quite popular and abundant. That technically explains why the stone is not as expensive even though it has good brilliance. They are sought-after gems even though they are astonishing and gorgeous. Lolitas will rival the expensive blue gemstones like Tanzanite or sapphire in jewelry.

The stone is not highly valued since it is readily available, bearing blue-purple shades. The stone has a cleavage, meaning if struck hard, it may chip or crack. However, with a 7 Mohs hardness, the gem can make stunning pieces of jewelry. It is advisable to have a protective element over the stone like a halo or a bezel when used on rings. Faceted versions of this stone are pretty eye-catching and very phenomenal.


Purple Apatite

Apatite is the name given to several minerals that produce phosphorous. These minerals are also highly regarded as the best to produce quality fertilizer. The most common apatite gemstone is green, but the stone also occurs in purple. This gem has translucent to transparent clarity with a 5 Mohs rating. The gemstone is not as hard and can make beautiful pieces of jewelry, but you should take good care of it. It is perfect for pendants and earrings.



Kunzite belongs to the mineral spodumene and occurs as violetish purple to light pink. The gemstone occurs in Madagascar, Afghanistan, California, and Brazil. It was named after George Frederick Kunz, who was a pioneering gemologist.

The stone has two cleavage directions meaning it can easily split into two when struck hard. Kunzite is also pleochroic; so, it can change colors when viewed from different angles. Kunzite does not occur in massive deposits, but the Smithsonian institution has heart-shaped faceted kunzite weighing 880 carats. Bear in mind that the gemstone can be treated to enhance its properties but will fade when exposed to direct light or heat.

When used as jewelry, it should be best reserved for evening wear. Also, keep it out of reach of your children to make it long-lasting.


Purple Scapolite

Scapolite is a name given to a group of stones that occur in violet hues. The violet crystal usually comes from marialite. Purple scapolite has a glassy luster and occurs as a transparent gemstone. The gem has a hardness of 7 Mohs, meaning it is ideal for jewelry use.

Marialite is quite a rare mineral and a favorite among gemstone enthusiasts and collectors.


Purple Fluorite

Purple fluorite is very rare even though it has low durability. The gemstone is popular among collectors but is not widespread in terms of jewelry since it is not durable. Purple is the standard color of fluorites, but they occur in a wide range of other colors. Most of the deposits will occur as purple, but a unique material occurs as white and purple. This gem is even branded, Blue John.

The high-quality version of this gemstone is quite transparent and clean. It also looks alluring and stunning when used for making jewelry. Fluorite contains a brilliant luster, but the stone cannot be used in many jewelry pieces. However, the stone can be used to make incredible earrings and pendants.


Purple Topaz

Many people have known topaz as a cheap blue gemstone. What you might not be aware is that the gemstone hardly occurs as blue. The blue comes about as a result of treatment. Topaz occurs in many different but awe-inspiring colors. Such include the purple and pink topaz, which rival the top quality and fancy sapphires.

Topaz color is brought about by defects in the crystal structure of impurity elements and not an element in its composition. Chromium is responsible for the red, violetish purple, and natural pink colors in this gemstone. Imperfections in topaz can result in colors such as brown, yellow and blue.



It is a perfect representation of the precious purple gemstones. For a long time now, when purple stones are mentioned, it is amethyst that first comes to people’s minds. The stone is one of the quartz family members even though it occurs in violet. Before the 18th century, this gemstone was very precious and highly regarded, but after discovery in Brazil in sizable amounts, the stone’s value dropped.

Amethyst also occurs in several other colors like chevron and lavender. These materials will show parts of white quartz in them. Amethyst is a February birthstone and can be used to make unique jewelry.



It is a scarce mineral made from silicate. The gemstone is translucent purple to lavender and has a pearly luster. Charoite deposits appear in massive materials and bear a fibrous appearance. The gem has an intense natural color that many initially believed it was treated. Charoite was discovered in 1940 but was gained recognition among gem enthusiasts in 1978.

The stone is said to occur as an unattractive and opaque material which is why it was recognized quite late. The gift from Russia is believed to have some healing properties, such as regulating one’s blood pressure and reducing stress. It can also be used to make remarkable jewelry pieces.



Sugilite is a scarce piece of mineral and is not widely known for jewelry use. The phenomenal stone contains veins, patches and patterns that make it outstandingly beautiful. It bears a translucent to opaque clarity with medium durability. The gem first occurred in Japan, but small materials have been discovered elsewhere but in low quantities.

Since it is not readily available, many are known, which means finding sugilite jewelry is very rare. Deposits occur in blue-purple to faint pink-purple colors. The saturated, vivid purple is, however, the most valuable variant of this gemstone. Sugilite can be carved to produce spellbinding designs or cut en cabochon. Understand that the stone is not as durable, with a rating of 6.5 Mohs.


Star Ruby

It is a rare gemstone exhibiting asterism. This is a six-rayed star shimmering on the stone’s surface when removed. The star effect is brought about by needle-like rutile inclusions. Rutile brings about this silky shine. In its natural environment, ruby is greasy and dull. But after treatment, the gem can easily resemble a fine diamond.

Ruby is classified as red corundum, while other colors of corundum are known as a sapphire. Basically, corundum is the second hardest gemstone. Due to this hardness, silky shine, and rich color, the gem is classified into four precious stones. The other three include sapphire, emerald, and diamond.

Ruby might occur in diverse colors depending on the iron and chromium content. It can occur as purplish and brownish red, orangey, and pinkish. However, the most valuable variety is the pure red star ruby with a slight touch of blue or violet. This variety is only found in Burma, Myanmar. Str ruby is among the most valued gemstones. Large deposits of ruby are much rarer and more valuable.


Purple Chalcedony

It is a durable gemstone and quite affordable. Purple chalcedony occurs in alluring shades of purple. This could be from dark purple to light lilac. The gemstone appears opaque and also as translucent material. It bears a rich natural color and very perplexing to the eye. Purple chalcedony occurs in microcrystalline structures but does not contain any crystal formations.

That means it has no cleavage, therefore, very durable. The majority of the deposits are used to produce engravings and beautiful carvings or cut en cabochon. The gem can also be treated to give astounding pieces of durable jewelry. 

The above purple gemstones offer a wide variety for jewelry lovers.

Emoche ✦ The Crystal Authority