Ametrine is a type of quartz that’s a mixture between citrine and amethyst. The blend of colors that naturally occur in the gemstone create a surprising mixture that generates a rainbow effect which is unique in the world of gems. It’s also very rare. It has a surprising history, characteristics and metaphysical properties that are worth taking a look at.
General Information About Ametrine
Legend tells us that the Ayoreo Indian tribe in eastern Bolivia knew about the bicolored quartz crystals, later dubbed Ametrine, over 500 years ago. It’s said that Spanish conquistadors discovered the mine’s location in Bolivia in the 1600’s. They were so impressed with the stones that they presented several specimens to the queen upon their return to their homeland. In exchange for the kind gesture, the queen gave the mine to the head of the unit, Don Felipe, as a dowry when he married Anahi, a native Bolivian princess.
When Felipe was ordered to return to Spain his bride wanted to go with him. However, as the couple tried to depart, tribesmen that were angry over the union and her subsequent departure murdered her. It is said that the bicolored gemstone represents her split loyalties: first to her husband but also to her tribe.
The mine was left unused for centuries until it was once again found in the 1960’s. Shortly after the discovery, Ametrine hit the market along with new lodes of Amethyst and Citrine which were found in the same mine. The mine was named in honor of the princess, Anahi. It’s said to be one of the few places in the world where the gemstone has been found.
The stone is also known as bolivianite in response to it being the national gemstone of Bolivia. The name originated from Greek mythology from the Greek word “amthystos” which means “not drunken”. It was often worn to protect individuals from becoming intoxicated and is, today, associated with sobriety.
Properties of Ametrine
- Chemical Classification: Silicate;
- Color: Purple amethyst in contact with golden-yellow citrine with yellow-brown to white color of streak;
- Luster: Vitreous;
- Transparency: Translucent to transparent;
- Cleavage: None – it breaks with conchoidal fracture;
- Hardness: 7;
- Refractive Index: 1.54 – 1.553;
- Density: 2.65;
- Identification: Amethyst and citrine in a single crystalline form;
- Crystal System: Trigonal, hexagonal prisms;
- Other Names: Amethyst-Citrine, Trystine, Bicolor Amethyst, Bicolor Quartz, Boilvianite;
- Often Mistaken For: bicolor Tourmaline and bicolor Sapphire.
How to Occurs in Nature
Hydrothermal activity facilitates quartz growth in fractures and vugs of dolomitic limestone that is silicified so it can resist weather. In fact, some of the limestone in the region of the Anahi Mine is up to 1500 feet thick. The walls in the openings are covered with a thick layer of quartz. Growing toward the center of the cavities, are euhedra quartz crystals some of which are Ametrine.
The colors of the gem are generated by iron impurities with various oxidation states within the quartz during the growth period. The different colors occur when a temperature gradient exists across the crystal during the time of its formation. In order for iron to produce both colors within the same crystal, two different temperatures must not only remain consistent during the formation process but specific as well.
Geologists believe that within the Anahi mine the required type of heat flowed in the right direction across a portion of the crystal to create the perfect balance of heat and cool for the Amethyst to become one with the Citrine. One degree higher or lower and the single stone would have become two. The result is a gemstone formed by sequential crystallization like a Tourmaline crystal, where the Amethyst and Citrine meet in a geometric pattern that radiates out like pieces of a pie. That inter-growth of the two crystals form the bicolored gemstone now known as Ametrine.
Metaphysical Details About Ametrine
Metaphysically, Ametrine is unique due to the combination of the two crystals that connect the physical and spiritual realms. As such, it is used to enhance the equilibrium of the universe in order to provide a clear connection between the physical form and the ultimate state of perfection. Ametrine’s Amethyst part helps you experience Divine Guidance; the Citrine part allows for the guidance to be assimilated into your life. It also combines masculine and feminine energy in order to bring you harmony in your relationship with others.
Ametrine is a solar plexus Chakra that is a good path for opening the Third Eye Chakra. It can be used to enhance learning, physic ability and creativity and can, therefore, help you produce creative solutions to problems that are difficult. Many people use it for stress-relief. It is believed to remove negativity from the body and auric fields replacing them with the light and energy of love and healing along with peace, tranquility and cooperation.
Ametrine stimulates the intellect so you can reach beyond the worldly aspects toward the development of the consciousness that help you reach higher states more quickly during meditation. That facilitates the release of tensions and initiates proper functioning of physical, mental, emotional and auric bodies that were previously blocked. Negative emotional programming can also be released and replaced with beneficial and constructive connectedness between the intellect and spiritual as well as physical planes.
Where Can We Find Ametrine Today?
Ametrine is very rare and almost all of the world’s production is from the Anahi Mine in southeastern Bolivia. The area where the mine is located is remote where travel is restricted to air or boat then 4×4. That’s how all supplies and personnel are moved into and out of the mine’s location. Due to its remote location, it’s no wonder the mine was lost for so many centuries.
Amertine is now found on top of as well as beneath the Earth especially at the Anahi Mine in Bolivia where the stones are cut, polished and set in specially designed jewelry. Recently, however, deposits have also been found in Brazil and India. Despite this limitation, Ametrine is very affordable.
Amertine is rare on many fronts. Not only are the stones created by blending Amethyst and Citrine into a single crystal, but because the color zoning effect is natural each stone is unique like a fingerprint with no two being the same. The legends surrounding it as well as its metaphysical properties only add elements of intrigue to the gems.
Fortunately, it is found in fairly large, clean pieces which controls the cost per carat. Do you have a piece of Ametrine jewelry or a gemstone you use to enhance your life? I’m sure our readers would love to hear about it.