Where is Amethyst Found? Amethyst is Found on all Five Continents

Most of us are familiar with the amethyst gemstone but where is amethyst found in the world?  Amethyst is quite common and is found on all continents, with the larger deposits currently being mined in South America, Africa and North America

The largest global producer is Brazil with an annual production of around two to three thousand tons followed by Zambia producing about a thousand tons per year.

Amethyst Phantom Crystal on Matrix - Namibia
Amethyst Phantom Crystal on Matrix – Namibia

Amethyst is a type of quartz, one of the most common minerals on earth.  Chemical processes and the presence of iron and manganese in the quartz gives amethyst its purple color, varying from pale lilac through lavender and mauve to deep violet. Amethyst crystals are hexagonal in structure made up of 6-sided prisms ending in 6-sided pyramids.

There are many varieties of amethyst differing in color or crystal formation, and usually named after the location they are found. Even within one country or region there can be a number of amethyst deposits, each producing crystals with their own unique properties.  Some of the more well-known deposits and interesting varieties are listed below.


Zambia, Madagascar, Namibia, and South Africa

Often referred to as African Amethyst – the varieties found in Africa have smaller crystals and are richer in color with the highest production coming from Zambia.

The color of Madagascar amethyst can vary from purple reddish to purple bluish and the country is estimated to supply 5% of the global production.

A unique variety called Cactus Quartz, which has a layer of smaller spiky crystals covering the main crystals, is only found in South Africa.

Amethyst found in Namibia displays zones of color often interspersed with white quartz resulting in chevron type patterns.


Amethyst is found in small quantities in Australia and the crystals are small with dark coloring. It is mined primarily in the Asburton region of Western Australia, known as Wyloo amethyst.

Amethyst Cactus Quartz from South Africa
Amethyst Cactus Quartz from South Africa


Russia, South Korea, India and Sri-Lanka

Two well-known high grade variants came from Russia – Deep Russian and Deep Siberian which have deep purple hues.  These are some of the oldest known deposits and are now mostly depleted, but these terms are still used to describe high grade amethysts in the jewelry trade.


Hungary, Austria, Germany and Italy

Hungary produces a lilac coloured amethyst drusy. A drusy is the geological term to describe formations of hundreds of tiny crystals coating the surface of a rock.

Austria has the largest opencast amethyst vein in the world near Maissau and has built a museum park to showcase the mine.

Bänderamethyst Ader - largest opencast amethyst vein in the world
Bänderamethyst Ader – largest opencast amethyst vein in the world

North America

USA, Canada and Mexico

Amethyst is mined in the American states of Arizona, North Carolina, Georgia, and Maine and it is the official state gemstone of South Carolina.

If you’d like to do a bit of searching yourself, check out Rock Chasing’s guide on where you can find amethyst (in the US). Going out and getting your hands dirty is a fun way to add amethyst to your collection and there are many ways and many places that you can do it.

Canadian Amethyst has unique red hematite mineral inclusions and the largest mine in North America is Thunder Bay, Ontario.

Veracruse amethyst comes from Mexico and has a tall prismatic formation.

There is an extensive amethyst collection from the USA and elsewhere at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History.

Minerals.Net has excellent images of all the different types of Amethysts
Minerals.Net has excellent images of all the different types of Amethysts

South America

Brazil and Uruguay

One of the largest amethyst deposits in the world were discovered in the 19th century in Brazil which subsequently caused amethyst to lose its status as one of the most valuable gemstones, and today Brazil is still the largest global producer.

Many amethyst deposits in Brazil and Uruguay are in geode formations. These are hollow rocks, formed originally from bubbles in a volcanic event, filled with crystals.

The largest amethyst geode found to date was discovered in Uruguay in 2007 and is called The Empress of Uruguay. The massive geode weighs 2.5 tons and is 3.27 meters tall.

References and Further Info

Filter by Country on Minfind.Com to see example Amethysts from different regions
Filter by Country on Minfind.Com to see example Amethysts from different regions

Isn’t this so interesting? I never realized amethyst came in so many different forms and colors! Feel free to leave a comment about what fascinates you about gemstones. *Mandy

8 thoughts on “Where is Amethyst Found? Amethyst is Found on all Five Continents

  1. Mary

    Those are some beautiful pictures of Amethyst. Amethyst is my birthstone and I wear a ring with amethyst in it that I got for my 16th birthday, that was a long time ago lol I absolutely love it! I learned a thing or 3 of the origins, quite fascinating really. Thanks for sharing!

    • Mandy

      Its a pleasure Mary, it was very interesting doing the research 🙂

  2. Johan Myers

    I discovered a bunch of those amethyst gemstone recently in my cellar and had no idea what it was until now. Great informative article by the way!!

    • Mandy

      Thanks Johan, glad you found it helpful.

  3. I love Amethyst but didn’t know where it came from, never thought to try and find out! The cactus quartz is very pretty, I love the combination of the small spiky crystals and the larger main ones. Good article, I enjoyed reading it. 🙂

    • Mandy

      Thanks Kathy, yes I was amazed at all the different forms, some are really exquisite!

  4. Sarah

    Hey! I love your website and am definitely bookmarking it! I love gemstones, they’re one of my passions. I have a lot of stones at home, can’t help it… everytime I see a gemstones store or a merchant at a market I have to buy something!
    My personal favorite stone is well… amethyst 😉 the stone of the wise and energy. I also love aquamarine and jade.
    I will check your website regularly!
    cheers =)

    • Mandy

      Thank you Sarah, I have found that some places have no idea where the stones they sell come from!

Comments are closed.