Thursday, July 18, 2024

Why is My Amethyst Turning Brown? 4 Things You Need to Know!

Amethyst, with its enchanting purple hues, is a beloved gemstone known for its beauty and allure. However, you may have noticed that over time, your once vibrant amethyst has started to turn brown. This change in color can be puzzling and may leave you wondering why it is happening. In this article, we will explore the possible reasons behind amethyst turning brown and provide insights on how to prevent and address this issue.

Natural Factors and Heat Exposure

One of the common reasons for amethyst turning brown is exposure to excessive heat. Amethyst is a type of quartz, and like many gemstones, it can be sensitive to high temperatures. Prolonged exposure to heat sources such as direct sunlight, hot water, or heating vents can cause the color of amethyst to fade or shift towards a brownish hue. This is particularly true for amethyst jewelry that is frequently worn or exposed to these conditions.

Iron and Radiation

Another factor that can contribute to the brownish discoloration of amethyst is the presence of iron impurities within the gemstone. Amethyst gets its purple color from traces of iron in its crystal lattice structure. However, if the iron content is higher than normal or if the gemstone is subjected to radiation, it can cause the amethyst to turn brown.

Radiation exposure can occur naturally over time due to the Earth’s radiation or artificially through processes such as X-rays or nuclear radiation. High levels of radiation can alter the color of amethyst, leading to a brownish or smoky appearance. This is why it is essential to handle amethyst jewelry with care and avoid unnecessary exposure to radiation sources.

Chemical Exposure and Cleaning Agents

Amethyst can also undergo color changes when exposed to certain chemicals or cleaning agents. Harsh chemicals, including household cleaners, chlorine, and even some beauty products, can potentially damage the gemstone’s surface and alter its color. It is crucial to avoid exposing amethyst jewelry to these substances and to use gentle, non-abrasive cleaning methods to maintain its natural beauty.

Enhanced or Heat-Treated Amethyst

In some cases, the brown coloration of amethyst may be intentional and the result of enhancement or heat treatment. Amethyst is sometimes heat-treated to enhance its color or to produce a different shade. Heat treatment can change the color of amethyst, including turning it brownish or even yellow. This type of treated amethyst is still considered genuine, but it is important to be aware of any treatments when purchasing gemstones.

Preventing and Addressing Brown Amethyst

To prevent amethyst from turning brown or to restore its original color, there are several precautions and steps you can take:

  • Avoid Excessive Heat: Limit the exposure of your amethyst jewelry to high temperatures, such as direct sunlight, hot water, or heating sources. Remove your amethyst jewelry before using hot tubs, saunas, or engaging in activities that involve high heat.
  • Chemical Awareness: Protect your amethyst from exposure to harsh chemicals by removing your jewelry before using cleaning agents, beauty products, or swimming in chlorinated pools. Clean your amethyst using mild soapy water and a soft brush, avoiding harsh chemicals or ultrasonic cleaners.
  • Storage and Care: Store your amethyst jewelry separately from other gemstones or harder materials to prevent scratches. Consider using a soft cloth or a lined jewelry box to protect your amethyst pieces when not in use.
  • Seek Professional Help: If your amethyst has already turned brown, it is advisable to consult with a professional gemologist or jeweler. They can assess the gemstone’s condition and provide guidance on potential treatments or restoration options.


While amethyst is generally prized for its stunning purple color, the phenomenon of amethyst turning brown can occur due to various factors such as heat exposure, iron impurities, radiation, chemical exposure, or even intentional treatment. By understanding these factors and taking the necessary precautions, you can maintain the beauty and vibrancy of your amethyst jewelry for years to come. Should you encounter brown amethyst, seeking professional advice can help you determine the best course of action to restore its original allure.

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