The 24 Most Popular Purple Gemstones Used in Jewelry
Nothing is more exciting for people who love purple, nothing is more exciting than adding a piece of purple gemstone jewelry to your accessories collection. While purple is a rare color for gems overall, there are many stones that offer beautiful purple coloring, ranging from beautiful stones in light lilacs or lavenders to deep eggplants and other dark purples.
If purple is one of your favorite gemstones, learning about the various purple gems used in jewelry can make finding your next piece a breeze. Here’s a look at purple stones, as well as the 24 most popular gemstones used in jewelry.
A Guide to Purple Gemstones Meaning and Benefits
There are many potential connections when it comes to the meaning and benefits of purple gemstones, there are many possible connections, though they vary depending on a person’s belief system. Some feel that purple gems are soothing and calming. Others connect purple gems to positivity, respect, and harmony.
In feng shui, purple is often associated with prosperity, good fortune, abundance, and wealth. Many also feel that purple supports a sense of self-worth, enhances mental clarity and creativity, and assists with a sense of peace.
When it comes to chakras, the crown chakra is most commonly associated with purple. The crown chakra represents a person’s connection with the divine or their higher self, often playing a critical role in spiritual development and higher consciousness.
However, purple gemstones that lean blue – making them a shade of indigo – may connect with the third-eye chakra. It’s said to support self-expression and freedom of thought, as well as has a strong association with inner peace, knowledge and wisdom.
List of Purple Stones
Amethyst is often the most well-known and most popular purple gemstone, primarily because it’s readily accessible and strikingly beautiful. This unique gemstone is also the February birthstone, which makes it incredibly popular for those who enjoy birthstone jewelry.
Generally, amethyst comes in mid-toned to dark purples when you see it in jewelry. However, there are lighter versions, too; they just aren’t as popular as those with stronger purple coloring.
Amethysts are a beautiful stone, often associated with mystery and royalty. The stone is also incredibly durable, which makes it a solid choice for everyday wear. Plus, amethyst jewelry is affordable when compared to many other gemstones, and it comes in several forms, including faceted stones, cabochons, and beads. As a result, it’s an accessible option.
Potentially the rarest purple gemstone, purple diamonds come in an array of colors, including orchid, mauve, and plum. Typically, its coloring is due to higher hydrogen content, which not only leads to the magnificent hues but can also make purple diamonds more durable than some of their counterparts.
Generally, the deeper the purple hue, the more valuable the diamond. As a result, diamonds in shades of lilac or light orchid are typically more affordable than those in hues closer to grape. However, due to their rarity, purple diamonds of any shade are usually an investment.
While sapphire is classically known for its strong blue coloring, there are dark purple sapphire varieties, though they’re incredibly rare. Generally, purple sapphires occur due to the presence of large amounts of chromium, causing the coloring to differ from the more common blue varieties.
The strength of the coloring can vary, with some being closer to a light or mid-tone than others. Additionally, some caution is needed while wearing purple sapphires, as excessive heat or exposure to radiation can cause the coloring to change. However, purple sapphires are durable, with a Mohs hardness rating of 9, which can make purple sapphire jewelry suitable for long wear.
Spinel is also transparent, so it’s often faceted to showcase the amazing color. Relatively large spinels are often available at highly accessible prices, making them a solid choice for statement jewelry. Since it’s a durable stone, too, purple spinel jewelry is also suitable for everyday wear.
Purple chalcedony is a quartz variety that comes in a range of shades of purple. Light, soft lilacs or lavenders are common, as well as deeper purple shades. In some cases, the stones also feature banding in other hues, such as white, gray, or colorless, adding some visual interest. As with many chalcedonies, these stones are also pretty durable, often coming in between a 6.5 and 7 on the Mohs hardness scale, making chalcedony jewelry easy to wear.
Comparatively speaking, kunzite is a relatively recent discovery, only initially being described in 1902. Kunzite usually comes in shades of purple or pink, and it typically exhibits exceptional clarity and transparency. Also, kunzite jewelry is durable, often rating similar to quartz on the Mohs hardness scale.
One unique feature of kunzite is its pleochroism, which can cause it to display two different colors depending on the lighting or the viewing angle. Generally, the shade of purple is also on the lighter side, giving the stone a sense of delicateness.
Purple tourmaline is one of the rare purple gemstones, which means it often has a higher value and can be a bit more expensive than some alternatives. The purple shades typically occur due to the presence of specific impurities, such as manganese and copper. Often, there’s a slight pinkish tinge to the deep purple tourmaline color too, potentially making the color closer to a deep magenta or plum, perfect for tourmaline jewelry.
Purple Zoisite (Tanzanite)
Purple zoisite – also known as tanzanite – is a December birthstone, and it can come in colors ranging from blue to violet, with many gems sitting close to indigo. Some are lighter-hued, while others have deep coloring, leading to a wide range of hues.
Usually, purple zoisite stones are transparent, making them suitable for faceting. Overall, tanzanite is a rare mineral, which makes it valuable. As a result, some consider purple zoisite to be a luxury stone, as it’s often expensive.
Fluorite comes in various colors, with purple being one of the most popular. Fluorite gemstones are usually translucent or transparent, which is potentially suitable for jewelry. However, loose pieces are more common, as they’re widely used in various spiritual practices.
In many cases, purple fluorite has coloring that’s similar to amethyst. However, it also fluoresces under ultraviolet light, giving people a simple way to tell the two apart if there’s any doubt. It’s also important to note that fluorite is prone to chipping and scratching, so it’s best to limit its use in fluorite jewelry to low-contact pieces like pendants and earrings.
With purple agate, you usually see strong purple and white, leading to unique banded patterns. Since purple agate isn’t transparent, it’s traditionally polished or tumbled, allowing the coloring to take center stage.
Overall, purple agate isn’t common since it doesn’t occur naturally often. Additionally, it’s critical to note that some agate jewelry producers use dyes to accent the purple coloring, so exercise caution if you’re buying from an unfamiliar source.
While jasper is more commonly red, it can come in various shades of purple, usually with a reddish tinge. Generally, purple jasper is fairly opaque, and each piece can feature unique patterning due to the veining that’s commonly present in the stone. Since it’s possible to find larger pieces, purple jasper is a good option for statement jewelry pieces. Plus, jasper jewelry is tough enough to withstand wear and tear.
While the color green is what usually comes to mind when people think about jade, there are purple varieties. With purple jade, shades of lilac or lavender are widely available on the market, but there are also jade gemstones with darker purple coloring.
Jade is usually opaque or translucent, though more transparent varieties do occur and are often highly valuable. Purple jade is strong but potentially prone to scratching, so it’s critical to take care when wearing it or while cleaning a jade jewelry piece.
While garnets are typically red, purple garnet does occur. Many purple garnets have a reddish tint, putting them closer to the violet variety. Most form when chromium impurities exist in umbalite, though other garnet types can also lean purple depending on how they’re formed. For example, purple pyrope-almandine garnets – usually referred to as rhodolite garnets – often have coloring that ranges from cranberry to grape.
Purple scapolite has crystalline qualities, often having a fibrous appearance in its raw form. In some cases, the silk-like strands give scapolite a cat’s eye effect, though this doesn’t always occur in natural form.
Generally, purple scapolite is a softer stone and translucent, so it’s more commonly turned into cabochons. Additionally, since its hardness score is usually closer to a 4 or 5, jewelry featuring it tends to be lower contact, such as pendants or earrings.
Purple sugilite is a translucent or opaque gemstone with pink to purple hues, often featuring a mix of both or sections that are white, gray, or black, along with unique swirling or striated patterning. Generally, sugilite is used for cabochons or beads, though simple polished or tumbled versions are also somewhat common in sugilite jewelry. However, sugilite jewelry itself isn’t widely available in many cases.
Overall, sugilite is a softer stone with a rating of 5.5 to 6.5 on the Mohs hardness scale. As a result, it’s usually reserved for special occasion wear.
Charoite is a rare gemstone that’s highly distinct, with many gemstone aficionados easily recognizing it on sight. Along with strong purple coloring, it often has swirling patterns that make each specimen unique. Since it’s translucent, it’s more commonly shaped and polished. However, the stone is heat-sensitive and isn’t necessarily the strongest, so charoite jewelry is usually reserved for occasional wear.
Iolite typically comes in blue, indigo, purple, or violet, with the purple-violet options often being one of the most popular versions. The stones are usually transparent, which causes the coloring to stand out. Purple iolite is also reasonably affordable, which is great news if you need new jewelry that won’t break the bank.
One challenge with iolite is that it’s prone to chipping due to its cleavage. As a result, even though it’s a 7 to 7.5 on the Mohs hardness scale, it isn’t necessarily ideal for everyday wear on high-contact iolite jewelry pieces, such as rings.
Lepidolite usually has soft coloring, often appearing in hues close to a lilac-gray or a rosy-pink. Usually, the stone is distinctly patterned, featuring mottling or striations, and is typically slightly translucent. Overall, it’s a brittle stone, so it’s more commonly shaped and polished instead of faceted for lepidolite jewelry.
Ametrine is a beautiful gem with strikingly contrasting colors. This gem isn’t technically a unique mineral. Instead, it’s a combination of amethyst and citrine. As a result, ametrine stones end up having purple and yellow sections, making them very distinct.
Ametrine is also usually transparent, making it popular for faceting and tumbling. However, some prefer to keep the naturally-formed pieces for spiritual use.
Another of the rarest purple gemstones is taaffeite, which is a relatively new discovery, as it wasn’t described until 1945. Generally, it comes in colors that range from red to violet, and the luster can also vary from glassy to full. Overall, taaffeite comes in between an 8 and 8.5 on the Mohs hardness scale, which suggests durability, but its poor fracture works against it, limiting its availability.
Taaffeite is typically transparent, so it’s most commonly faceted when gem-quality pieces are found. However, taaffeite jewelry is typically expensive due to its rarity.
Idocrase – also referred to as vesuvianite – comes in a range of colors, with purple being one of the rarer versions of the gemstone. Generally, high levels of manganese lead to the purple coloring, which can lean reddish depending on the exact composition.
Since purple idocrase is typically transparent or translucent, some pieces are faceted for jewelry. However, purple idocrase stones may feature imperfections, so keep that in mind.
When it comes to topaz, purple is one of the rarest colors. In most cases, purple topaz leans reddish, putting it closer to the violet category. However, the coloring of the purple stone gem is often quite strong, which makes this gem highly appealing. Typically, the purple crystals of the gemstones are translucent, which means they’re commonly faceted when gem-quality specimens are found.
It is important to note that not all purple topaz on the market features a naturally-occurring color. Instead, some are treated to bring out purple hues, so keep that in mind when looking for pieces.
Apatite comes in an array of colors, including purple. Often, the coloring is relatively strong, though the hues are often lighter than some other purple gemstones. Additionally, the stones are usually transparent or translucent, though some are closer to opaque. The degree of transparency and clarity usually dictate whether purple apatite is faceted or polished. As a result, a wide variety of apatite jewelry pieces are potentially available.
Phosphosiderite is a rare stone that contains phosphate and iron, both of which play a role in the coloring. Overall, this is a softer gemstone, so it’s more commonly turned into cabochons instead of faceted, even though it can come in transparent or translucent varieties along with more opaque versions.
Phosphosiderite comes in multiple colors, including earthy reds and browns. Purple varieties are usually closer to lavender or lilac, often leaning slightly into blue territory making for rich purple phosphosiderite jewelry.
Frequently Asked Questions about Purple Gemstones
What Is the Rarest Purple Gem?
There are several purple gemstones that are incredibly rare. Purple diamonds are potentially the rarest of beautiful gems, as they don’t often occur naturally. Additionally, due to their cost, most people won’t encounter a purple diamond without specifically looking to track one down, as they aren’t widely carried in most chain jewelry stores.
Both taaffeite and purple sapphire are also incredibly rare, though likely not as rare as purple diamonds. Tanzanite is another one of the rarer purple gemstones, though it’s generally more widely available than the others.
What Is the Most Valuable Purple Stone?
Generally, purple diamonds are the most valuable. Their rarity and desirability mean they typically command an incredibly high price, and since price often relates to value, that makes purple diamonds the most valuable purple gemstone in the eyes of most people.
What Gems Are Lavender Color?
Multiple gemstones can have lavender coloring. Amethyst, kunzite, fluorite, chalcedony, and tourmaline may all come in shades close to lavender. Since those stones aren’t overly rare, they typically make good starting points, particularly if you prefer transparent or translucent stones.
For opaque lavender gemstones, purple jade is likely the most accessible option. However, alternatives like purple phosphosiderite are also worth considering, as they typically have a light lilac hue.
If you enjoy jewelry with unique contrasting elements, ametrine can also feature shades close to lavender. When coupled with the yellow seen due to the citrine, this creates a striking color combination with distinct springtime vibes.