Difference Between Amethyst and Alexandrite

Amethyst vs Alexandrite

People all over the world are very fond of precious gemstones, but these stones can be very expensive at times. This is the reason why there is always a great demand for stones that look the same but cost less than precious gemstones. Two such gemstones that are often confused for one another are amethyst and alexandrite. Despite similarities in appearance, there are differences between alexandrite and amethyst that will be highlighted in this article.


Used to make jewelry items, amethyst is a type of quartz that is violet in color. It is a stone that is believed to prevent its wearer from a state of drunkenness. The stone was used by the ancient Greeks and Romans, and they even made vessels from amethyst to contain beverages. This is a February birthstone that looks violet because of the presence of iron impurities inside and also because of irradiation. It is a vitreous stone with a chemical formula of SiO2.


This is a gemstone that is one of the three varieties of mineral chrysoberyl. Its chemical formula is BeAl2O4. The gemstone is very hard with a hardness of 8.5 on Mhos scale. It is named after the Tzar of Russia Alexander, and it was first found in Ural Mountains in Russia in the year 1834. Because it is found in both red, as well as in green colors, it is the national stone of Russia. Though it is green in daylight, it can turn red or purple in incandescent light. This ability to change colors makes it one of the most sought after gemstones.

What is the difference between Amethyst and Alexandrite?

• Alexandrite is one of the varieties of Chrysoberyl, a mineral, whereas amethyst is a naturally occurring gemstone.

• Alexandrite is found in red and green varieties though it has the ability to turn purple in incandescent light.

• Amethyst is a variety of quartz with a chemical formula of SiO2.

• Alexandrite is June birthstone whereas Amethyst is February birthstone.

• Alexandrite is harder than amethyst.