Wondering about purple gemstones and the various types that exist in jewelry?
Perfect, you're in the right place!
In this guide we cover:
- What purple gemstones are
- The different purple gemstones available
- And my unique analysis on each gem
All of that is covered and more. Let's jump in!
What Are Purple Gemstones?
Purple gemstones have been around for centuries and are mainly used in the production of jewelry and artifacts. These purple jewels may not be as popular as other colored gemstones, although there are quite a handful available.
The color purple is also associated with wealth and power. You'll find purple gemstones in many different shades of purple like mauve, lavender, lilac, among others.
Purples gemstones with a deep purple shade are more expensive. Deeper hues may be treated or untreated, depending which purple stone it is.
You can find purple stones in fine jewelry and make an excellent statement piece. Purple gemstones weren't considered the top colored gemstone for an engagement ring, but have gained popularity.
What Are The Types Of Purple Gemstones?
There aren't too many naturally purple gemstones. Some are treated to enhance their shade of purple.
Here’s a list of the most popular purple gemstones you might find used in jewelry:
Amethyst gemstones are some of the most popular purple gemstones used in jewelry. It's also the birthstone for the month of February.
In ancient times, the stone was regarded as precious as diamonds, rubies, and emeralds. It was only until large deposits were found in Brazil that amethyst became so common.
Check out our article comparing amethyst and tanzanite.
Due to their growing popularity, we've already done the research to help you find:
2. Purple Diamonds
Colored diamonds are some of the rarest gemstones of all. Purple diamonds are both beautiful and rare gemstones to own.
For purple diamonds to form, there must be high amounts of hydrogen present. Due to its rarity, a deep purple diamond is highly priced and a single carat can fetch tens of thousands of dollars.
High-quality purple diamonds with a deep purple shade are hard to find. Not only does the color need to have deep hues, but it has to be saturated throughout the diamond.
Some purple shades may be called plum diamonds. Purple diamonds are found in a few locations globally and are currently mined in Russia, Australia, and recently Canada.
3. Purple Sapphire
Purple sapphires are often mistaken for purple diamonds. However, a purple diamond is a more rare gemstone than a purple sapphire. Despite this fact, many don't know that purple sapphires even exist.
Purple sapphires aren't as sought-after like blue sapphires, but that's because many don't know about the rainbow of colors you can find sapphires in. Blue sapphire is just the most popular. They might not be as rare as a purple diamond, but they're also considered rare gemstones.
A purple sapphire comes in different purple hues too. A lighter colored purple sapphire will have the lowest price cost, around $300 per carat. A dark purple sapphire will cost A purple sapphire won't often have enhanced or synthetic alternatives. The purple hue is natural, but it can be altered by heat.
They're one of the best purple gems to wear in an engagement ring because of their high hardness. A purple sapphire reaches a 9 on the Mohs scale, just below the highest rated purple gems-purple diamonds.
4. Purple Spinel
A purple spinel stone comes in select shades with lilac and mauve as the most attractive. It may be a little bit expensive but will not exceed its blue and red counterparts. It is quite durable and can be used as everyday jewelry.
Purple sapphire can be cut and faceted to add to its already excellent brilliance. Although there are lab-grown kinds of purple spines, most varieties are natural since stone’s color cannot be synthesized.
5. Purple Fluorite
Purple fluorite gemstones have risen in popularity among the purple gemstone jewelry. Like amethyst, purple fluorite has been a staple with those involved in crystal healing and the metaphysical meanings of gemstones.
More than that, fluorite shouldn't be worn as an engagement ring or wedding band. It's hardness rating is 4- so it's often used as a collector's piece. When it is used in jewelry, you'll find it more often as a pendant or earrings.
Fluorite isn't only purple; it comes in a variety of colors. Purple fluorite is found in dark purple shades as well as light purple ones too.
Since fluorite is rarely faceted or used in fine jewelry, it's pretty affordable. But if you're looking for a collector's specimen, the price can skyrocket for clusters of fluorite. Vivid purple is the best color, but it doesn't impact price at around $50 per carat.
6. Purple Tourmaline
Purple tourmaline is one of the least popular varieties of tourmaline gemstones. Even though people barely know them, these stones have great brilliance and show levels of pleochroic behaviors. That means they show different colors based on the way the light hits it. This is a natural pattern in some gemstones.
Purple tourmaline is difficult to find. The purple hue in purple tourmaline may have blue hues or red hues displayed. These hues allow it to produce bright magenta to deep, dark purple.
It creates beautiful purple gemstone jewelry. Most undergo heat treatment in order improve its color. Always ask your jeweler about this process whenever shopping for purple tourmalines.
Purple tourmalines would make a striking choice for a wedding ring, but it has a hardness of 7.5-8 and has cleavage. The cost of a purple tourmaline runs around $325 per carat.
7. Purple Jade
Jade stones are often known as green gemstones, not purple gemstones. Still, it occurs in purple too. Jade isn't used in jewelry too often, except when making larger chunky pieces of costume jewelry.
Most often purple jade will be found in carvings and art pieces rather, like most other jade varieties. It purple color ranges from lavender to a dark purple. However, lavender purple jade is the rarest gemstones in the jadeite family. Purple jade isn't to be confused with Turkish purple jade, which has increased in demand. It's only composed with 40-60% of jadeite, so there's debate as to if it's really jade or not.
Purple jade and other jade colors have great wearbility, but can't be faceted. They don't have cleavage and their hardness rating is 6.5-7. That's another reason why it's used in carvings more. The price of purple jade depends on the piece crafted.
8. Purple Chalcedony
Purple chalcedony has nice shades of purple ranging from light purple to dark . The purple gemstone is generally translucent to opaque and has a very rich color. It isn't always solid either. It can be found with white bands. It's from the quartz family.
Purple chalcedony isn't as common in fine jewelry but is used in wire-wrapped jewelry or polished en cabochon. It has a bohemian appeal and can be incorporated in ethnic jewelry designs. It can also be found in costume jewelry.
These purple gemstones are very affordable, usually running around $37 per carat. Large cabochon of purple chalcedony may run a little higher.
Purple chalcedony is compact and has no cleavages. This is partly due to the gemstone’s lack of crystal formations. It has a microcrystalline structure and a medium hardness of about 6.5 to 7 Mohs. You can find purple chalcedony in Indonesia.
9. Purple Jasper
People normally associate jasper with blue precious stones, but blue jasper isn't the only one. There are varieties with shades of purple too. Purple Jasper has a hardness of about 6.5 to 7 (Mohs).
Purple Jasper has a unique matrix of veins and patterns that make the stone worthy. Since Jasper is in the Chalcedony family, and is cut en cabochon. It's barely faceted, and instead turned into smooth polished cabochons.
Purple jasper is slightly opaque and can last for a long time. Its color is a blend of blue and red. It is widely used in statement pieces and fine jewelry. Purple jasper has been known to have a touch of royalty, which adds to its uniqueness.
You can find purple jasper all over the world in places like India, Brazil, Egypt, Madagascar, etc. It's very affordable at under $50 per carat, except for pieces with exceptional patterns. Most gemstones from the chalcedony family are affordable.
10. Purple Agate
Purple agate is one of the many gemstones that are from chalcedony. Agate is one of the most common gemstones and comes in many different colors and natural patterns.
Like most agate, purple agate is more likely to be banded if found in cabochon form. The shade of purple found most often is light purple, though darker purple gemstones are available too.
Unlike most purple gemstones, you can see purple agate in various pieces of home decor as well. Agates are cut in slices and used as clocks or coasters. They also grow in different crystal formations.
One of my favorite gemstone display specimens is the botryoidal form, commonly known as grape agate. Grape agate specimens are neat and look like a bunch of tiny grapes stuck together.
The specimens can be hundreds of dollars, but is less expensive as polished stones. It has a hardness of 6.5-7 and a price of $37 per carat.
11. Purple Kunzite
Purple kunzite isn't a color variety like other purple gemstones. Instead, it describes the hue of the stone. To some people, purple kunzite may appear more pinkish than purple. Kunzite is normally described as a pink gem, but is known to have secondary hues of purple.
Purple kunzite is one of the many purple gemstones you won't find a big name retailers. However, you may be able to source kunzite from a local bench jeweler. Otherwise, your best bet will be online.
Kunzite makes gorgeous statement pieces, but shouldn't be worn every day. It's hardness is 6.5-7, but that's not what makes it fragile. Kunzite splinters and fractures, so it doesn't make great jewelry you plan to wear all the time. Its color also fades in ultraviolet light, so wearing it in the sun isn't a great idea.
It's kind of rare, but still affordable at larger carat weights. It's wearability has a lot to do with the price. Often times a precious metal may outweigh the cost of the stone in high end pieces. This gemstone hails from the lands of Brazil, Afghanistan, and Madagascar.
Iolite is an abundant and lesser known purple gemstone. This particular stone exhibits excellent brilliance and competes with both sapphire and tanzanite. It has an ideal color, especially the purple shades.
When curated with rings, it is more appealing to place iolite in settings like a white gold bezel or even halo ring setting. These settings give the purple gemstone optimal shine as its purple shade contrasts with the white diamonds.
Iolite isn't used in jewelry in big name stores, but you're more likely to find it at private gemstone sellers.
Iolite is one of the affordable purple gemstones at around $30 per carat. If you have this purple gem in larger carats, you can expect it to be around $100 per carat. It has pretty good wearability, though you'll still want to handle it with ease. It does have cleavage and a hardness rating of 7-7.5.
Most people aren't familiar with sugilite jewelry. It's more popular in Asia than other parts of the world as one of the rarest gemstones. Sugilite is known for its "grape jelly" purple color, but can be found in yellowish brown or rose red varieties.
This purple gemstone can be faceted or cut en cabochon, but the price is close to the same. It's more expensive at $300 per carat, no matter what the size. This gemstone doesn't have good wearbility either because it has poor cleavage. It's hardness is at 6.65.
Sugilite jewelry carries a purple-pink shade, but can be any mixture of the two colors. When cut, it can present some really cool patterns. It can be found in Australia, Japan, India, South Africa, and Canada.
14. Purple Moissanite
Moissanite is the most popular colorless diamond alternative today. Despite this popularity, many don't realize it comes in a rainbow of colors too. For that reason, it's often passed by as a purple gemstone.
If you want a brilliant purple gemstone, a purple moissanite is the way to go. Purple moissanites have a high refractive index, more than purple diamonds. That means it'll sparkle better than a diamond. It's often compared to a disco ball.
Natural purple moissanite doesn't exist because all moissanite jewelry is lab-created. It's most often found in a pinkish-purple hue. The price of a purple moissanite stone is pretty low on its own. But when set in white gold, the price goes up more.
Purple moissanite isn't a popular purple gemstone in high demands, so it doesn't cost a lot. If you can find it, you might run $100 per carat at most. It has one of the best wearability of all purple gemstones and other colored stones with a 9,5 hardness and no cleavage.
Read also: Best Places to Buy Moissanite Rings
Where to Buy A Purple Gemstone?
It can be hard figuring out where to buy purple gemstones. The type of purple gem will determine where you should hunt for it.
Most purple gemstones aren't going to be found locally, unless you've got a private jeweler. Many of these purple gemstone are under $100 per carat, so a lot of those stores have nothing to do with them.
For the ones that do, I highly suggest going online. For purple sapphires and spinel, I recommend checking out Brilliant Earth. For purple diamonds, you should try Leibish and Co. or James Allen for the best purple colored diamonds.
All other purple gemstones listed above can be found in various places around the internet. My favorite place to buy lesser known stones are Etsy or Gem Rock Auctions. Some can be found on Amazon too.