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Amethyst is one of the most recognized forms of quartz. Natural amethyst ranges in color from pale pink to dark violet. The color is caused by naturally irradiated iron replacing some silicon atoms in the crystal lattice structure. Applying additional heat to the mineral produces even more colors, like green, yellow and red. All amethyst from Brazil is found in vugs and geodes.
An amethyst vug is created by water vapor and other gases that are trapped inside lava. The lava cools to become basalt. The trapped water vapor condenses to hot water, and dissolves silicon dioxide, potassium, aluminum, iron and other minerals. Over millions of years, minerals precipitate out of the water solution, and more minerals are contributed for crystal formation by water seeping into the cavity. First, green celadonite lines the cavity's walls, followed by chalcedony and quartz crystals, and finally amethyst crystals.
These chunks vary in size, but they are priced by weight.