In case you are looking for a list of the top purple gemstones, you’ve landed on the right page!
In this article, we’ve prepared the answers to the most common questions like:
- What are Purple Gemstones?
- Where can I buy Purple Gemstones?
- What is the Most Expensive Purple Gemstone?
- What are the Types of Purple Gemstones?
Table of Contents
What Are Purple Gemstones?
Purple gemstones are like most minerals and rocks. They have been around for centuries and are most commonly used in jewelry, artifacts, and relics. However, purple gems are not as popular as other colored precious stones, though they are just as plentiful.
In general though, the color purple, which is a result of chemical inclusions, is thought to affect the clarity of mind. More than speculation, its color instantly makes it the perfect color for a gemstone as it symbolizes luxury and creativity.
Purple gemstones emanate different purple shades like mauve, lavender, lilac, and a lot more. No wonder many people wear them for aesthetic reasons. It can also come in the deepest purple, which is rare and most expensive.
Where Can I Find Purple Gemstones to Buy?
The market has an abundant source of purple gemstones. They are not too hard to find. Aside from local jewelry stores and malls, you can also check out online retailers like James Allen, Blue Nile, and Brilliant Earth.
These stores have an extensive collection of violet and purple gemstones, from amethyst, sapphire to tanzanite. Their assortment includes both loose stones or those incorporated in jewelry.
What are the Types of Purple Gemstones?
If you are looking to add more purple gems to your jewelry collection, our list of recommended purple gemstones should help you.
- Purple Diamond
- Purple Spinel
- Purple Chalcedony
- Purple Jade
- Purple Fluorite
- Purple Sapphire
- Purple Tourmaline
- Purple Kunzite
1. Purple Diamond
- Extremely rare
- Staggering price tag
- Scores 10 on Mohs scale
- Very unique and exclusive
- Higher carat value compared to colorless diamonds
It’s not surprising to see diamonds in this list, especially since this gemstone comes in a purple shade, among many others. The only difference it has from the colorless diamond is its noticeable purple hue. Colorless ones are graded on a color scale from D to Z. Purple diamonds are not. Instead, they are graded in color from faint to very vivid purple.
Purple diamonds may not be as rare as other fancy color diamonds like red, pink, or blue, but a pure and vivid purple diamond is tough to come by. A more significant percentage of purple diamonds are found with overtone colors. It is seldom that customers buy purple diamonds with no overtone.
Modified purple stones are less expensive than pure purple. These two serve as a good example. Leibish & Co.’s 0.42 carat, Fancy Pink Purple Diamond, Round Shape, I1 Clarity, GIA is priced at $16,900 while this already sold 0.40 Carat Fancy Deep Pinkish Purple Cushion Cut is priced at $38,100.
It can be a challenge to find a pure purple diamond. But, on rare occasions, top vendors like Leibish & Co. have purple diamonds on their collection. Expect a costly tag, especially if it’s a predominantly purple diamond. Sometimes, even with a secondary tone, the price can still be high.
- Most famous purple stone
- Plentiful resources
- Scores 7 on Mohs scale
- Works ideally both in white gold and in yellow gold
The birthstone for those born in February, amethyst, is a member of the quartz family in the purple variety. Since quartz is one of the most copious materials found in the Earth’s crust, it is widely available in a wide range of colors.
The purple amethyst, though, ranges from pinkish lilac to deep vivid violet. Some amethyst stones may even contain hints of red. This purple gemstone’s shade largely depends on small impurities such as iron or manganese.
Fuller-colored amethysts are usually more coveted and more expensive than lighter ones. Although purple is its primary color, you may also spot hints of red and blue, which are regarded as amethyst’s second colors.
Amethysts score 7 on the Mohs scale, and although they are durable enough to be used in any jewelry, they may need a fair amount of care to keep their luster and color. This purple gemstone can get easily scratched and, due to its brittleness, may chip and crack when subjected to rough wear.
3. Purple Spinel
- Highly durable
- Relatively rare
- Somewhat affordable
- Scores 8 on Mohs scale
- Quite brilliant
Spinel is one of those gemstones hardly ever featured within commercial jewelry stones – particularly the purple-colored ones. Its rarity makes it extremely difficult to repeat specific colors, shapes, and sizes. Thus, natural colored purple spinel is becoming collector’s choice, prized for its color and rarity.
Purple spinel is often confused with purple sapphire. Its rarity may have contributed to this confusion. Since they come in the same color, same rock units, and same geological conditions, they are perceived as sapphire.
Now, gemologists understand the differences between the two and concluded that spinel is chemically distinct. This gem has always been rare, beautiful, and comes in a variety of shades. Its color range includes various shades from red, pink, purple, and blue. The purple color is due to trace amounts of beryllium.
The blue and purple spinels primarily found in Sri Lanka are famous for being used in well-known brands such as Harry Winston as the primary material of high jewelry. Moreover, spinel is moderately priced and within reach of most purple gem enthusiasts.
This 3.61-carat purple spinel super trillion cut is an example of how moderately priced it is.
4. Purple Chalcedony
- High strength
- Glassy/waxy luster
- Reasonably priced
- Scores 6.5 to 7 on Mohs scale
- May come in bluish, white, gray, purple, lavender, light-tan, yellow, and brown
Chalcedony is a compact and microcrystalline form of the quartz family. It occurs in a variety of colors, shapes, and patterns. The variety of chalcedony that is light violet to dark purple is called Damsonite and is from Arizona.
The GIA tested the origin of color through their standard dye extraction process and found no evidence of dye in purple chalcedony. Instead, they proved that it contains 0.2 to 0.4 wt % of iron. This trace is responsible for the color purple.
The lovely shades of purple ranging from light lilac to dark violet are what keeps this gem interesting. It is generally translucent to opaque, despite its vibrant color. Purple chalcedony’s lack of crystal formations causes it to become compact with no cleavages.
You can easily spot purple chalcedony in local jewelry stores. They often come in different jewelry styles and are also known for engravings. If you are looking to get a purple gemstone fit for your bohemian or ethnic jewelry ideas, purple chalcedony is the right choice for you.
5. Purple Jade
- Decent hardness
- Very tough
- Comes in two varieties
- Scores 6 on Mohs scale
- Presents waxy luster
The first question that a lapidarist gets when discussing purple gemstones is – “Is purple jade really jade?” This question is valid since the concentration of jadeite in purple jade measures between 40% and 60%. But, this doesn’t mean it is not jade at all. It is, and it is among the rarest in the world.
Over the years, purple jade has reported an increased scarcity that rumors spread out regarding the gemstone being mined out. This scarcity is actual for the Turkish purple jade found in the Bursa region of Turkey. But, some locations near faults in serpentinites like Myanmar, New Zealand, Canada, Taiwan, and China are believed to have few jadeite deposits.
Nephrite is more abundant and less expensive. Jadeite, on the other hand, is considered better quality and costly. Most jade stones contain copious quantities of silica, but it is a different case for purple jade. Jadeite is composed of aluminum, and the nephrite is comprised of magnesium.
This purple gemstone may appear too soft, scoring 6 on the Mohs scale, but is very tough because of its compact composition. Frequently, jade is cut into cabochons or unique smooth cuts. Although faceting is not typical for purple jade, it can give the gemstone added depth.
- Instantly becoming famous
- Rich resources globally
- Fairly affordable
- Scores 7 to 7.5 on the Mohs scale
- Transparent to translucent
The iolite is a gem variety of the mineral cordierite. It defines the clear to a translucent form of cordierite and has become quite a popular gemstone recently due to its bluish/purple shade. This stunning stone can rival the beauty of a more expensive purple stone such as sapphire or tanzanite.
This brilliant gem that occurs in blue/purple color because of its abundance is not highly valued. Additionally, its distinct cleavage makes it susceptible to chipping off or flaking if hit with force. Yet, its hardness that scales at 7 to 7.5 makes it a good gemstone for almost any type of jewelry.
Although iolite has an abundant supply and is more affordable than other purple gemstones, it boasts an appearance of a fine gemstone, especially with the proper cut and shape. This is why iolite is the ideal purple gemstone for anyone who wants an exquisite violet gem but dealing with a limited budget.
If you are mounting iolite in rings, be sure to protect it in protective settings like bezel or halo. Stunningly faceted iolite scintillates with eye-catching brilliance and sparkle. They straightaway become the perfect jewelry, especially when they can catch the light like a ring or dangling earrings.
7. Purple Fluorite
- Reduced durability
- Quite rare
- Vitreous luster
- Scores 4 on the Mohs scale
- Often transparent
This transparent to translucent purple gemstone comes with a vitreous luster and crystalizes in well-rounded isometric cubes, nodules, clusters, or in one massive form. Purple fluorite is the only common mineral with perfect segmentation.
Purple fluorite is hailed as the most colorful mineral globally as it comes in a wide variety of shades from typically purple to green, yellow, blue, and some hues of pink, red, white, to black. What determines the fluorite’s color is its impurities as well as radiation exposure.
While fluorite is the most popular purple gem among gemstone enthusiasts, it is not commonly used in jewelry because of its low durability. But, if you genuinely intend to use it for jewelry, make sure it does not get high exposure. The ideal jewelry piece they can serve as is a pendant or earrings.
8. Purple Sapphire
- Rare type of sapphire
- Often untreated
- Exceptional durability
- Scores 9 on the Mohs scale
- Darker and have purple as the dominant color
Purple sapphire or plum sapphire is the bluish-purple to purplish pink-colored precious stone variety from the Corundum mineral family. Astrologically, it is regarded as the strongest form of blue sapphire that in western countries, it is often set in jewelry for engagement rings, pendants, and wedding bands.
Sapphire is mainly known for its vivid blue color. However, purple sapphire beats it in rarity and overall appearance. The purple in sapphire occurs in traces of elements like chromium being present in the sapphire’s transformation.
A lot of buyers confuse purple sapphire for amethysts, but the two are entirely different. Purple sapphires are far more durable than amethysts. They are incredibly resistant to breakage and chipping. Also, unlike most sapphires being treated to enhance color and clarity, purple ones aren’t because of their excellent natural coloring.
Purple sapphire is in the mid-range of fancy colored sapphires when it comes to pricing. They are usually priced higher than yellow and greens but lesser than blue. The Natural Sapphire Company’s most expensive purple sapphire is $45,600 and lowest priced at $331.
9. Purple Tourmaline
- Superb brilliance
- Highly durable
- Rare tourmaline color
- Scores 7 to 7.5 on the Mohs scale
- Hard and tenacious mineral
Tourmaline mainly occurs as an accessory mineral in igneous and metamorphic rocks. They are the large and well-formed crystals that form in cavities and fractures during hydrothermal activity. A hard and tenacious mineral, purple tourmaline stands at 7 to 7.5 on the Mohs hardness scale.
Purple is not a popular tourmaline color but is stunning when set in jewelry. The color in tourmaline is a form of pleochroism, making them a dynamic and vibrant gemstone for jewelry. This brilliance is evident, especially when viewed from different angles under bright lights.
The majority of purple tourmalines have stunning brilliance, which is attributed to its noticeable pleochroism. Its good durability partnered with reasonable care makes this stone last a very long time.
Purple tourmaline can satisfy any jewelry design. And if you decide to add it to your jewelry collection, you won’t have a hard time finding it. Purple tourmaline occurs in abundance worldwide, making them priced low in general and highly popular with consumers.
Heat treatment is standard in tourmalines to boost their color. Be sure to confirm with your vendor if the same process was done on your stone.
10. Purple Kunzite
- Shows pleochroism
- Fair clarity
- Light to vivid shades
- Scores 6.5 to 7 on the Mohs scale
- High abundance
Kunzite was first discovered in the early 1900s in a family mine in Pala, California, by Fred M. Sickler. He was sure it was not tourmaline or morganite, so he sought George F. Kuntz’s expertise and later got named after the latter. At present, the gem can be found in Pakistan and Afghanistan, particularly the purple ones.
Purple kunzites come in vivid to intense purple hues. They exhibit pleochroism, meaning they can show two colors simultaneously depending on which angle they are viewed from. Usually, these two colors are pink and purple and are generally free of inclusions and have good transparency.
This fairly durable stone can be used for almost any type of jewelry. However, its cleavage makes it prone to chipping and breakage. Purple kunzite comes in substantial sizes thus remains a very affordable stone.
What is the Most Expensive Purple Stone?
The more vivid the purple diamond is, the rarer and more expensive it is. Moreover, purple diamonds have a higher carat value than pure diamonds. Thus, purple diamonds are costly.
The idea of expensive stones always leans towards diamonds, emeralds, and rubies. Surprisingly, however, other gems are more valuable and more costly because they are rare. This is the case with the most expensive purple gemstone that we did not include in the list because its known deposits are nearing to be mined out – tanzanite.
The blueish-purple-hued tanzanite is found solely in Tanzania, particularly in the Merelani foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro. This purple gem belongs to the epidote mineral group and is noted for its remarkably strong trichroism. This characteristic is what makes it appear alternately blue, violet and burgundy.
Since this gem is only found in a tiny mining area in Tanzania, global supply concerns are in talks as it may be depleted in the next 20 years. Having said that, tanzanite’s rarity comes at a premium price that is between $600 to $1000 per carat.
The color purple has always been the symbol of nobility, melancholy, and mystery. This representation dates back to when the monarchs back in the Roman Empire days prefer purple in most of their attires. Fast forward to the present day, this color represents eternity and pure love. No wonder it is almost always liked to romance and fantasy.
Purple gemstones can be used for jewelry pieces. But, gemstone should not be the only factor when choosing purple gemstone jewelry. The metal and the setting also impact the jewelry’s quality and overall looks. You would want to make sure you are getting a solid metal to keep it safe.
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
Q: How much does a purple gemstone cost?
A: The pricing for purple gemstones depends significantly on color, origin, cut, treatment, carat weight, and clarity. Generally, purple gems are affordable. Amethysts are marked at $2 to $100. Still, there are very rare purple gemstones line purple sapphire or purple diamonds ranging from $300 to $45,000.
Q: What materials should be used for purple gemstone jewelry?
A: Purple gemstones are often matched with white or silver metals because lighter colored metals make the purple shade look more brilliant. Common metals you may consider are silver, platinum, and gold.