Amethyst is a purple crystal rock that grows in two main ways. Sometimes it is born in the form of geodes which appear of be large rocks at first glance, but when broken open wondrous purple crystals of varying shapes and sizes are found growing inside.
Amethyst crystals can also grow within the open spaces of large rock formation inside the earth. These open space can be anywhere from an inch or two wide up to much, much larger sizes. How much space is between the rocks goes a long way to determining how large of a crystal is able to grow in that space. Only the amount of time and the continued influx of the minerals needed for grow are the other determining factors.
Raw Amethyst is nothing more than formations what have had little or no work by man done to them. Almost all amethyst rock has had at least very mild work by man done to them.
Natural Amethyst can grow in geodes ranging from only a few inches across up to the largest crystal geode I know of is about 35 feet and is known as Put-in-Bay, Ohio, on South Bass Island in Lake Erie. That geode is filled with Celestine, but it is possible for amethyst geodes to get this large also. Most geodes are cut into smaller pieces, the size determines the selling price of each piece.
When raw amethyst grows between rock formations, the width is determine by how far apart the individual rocks are. The length of the formation is determined mainly by how much ground water flows into the area and how long it takes the groundwater to find a lower level to flow into before getting to the rock formations.
This type of growth is where most gemstone cathedrals comes from although it is possible for geodes to grow in a long thin form rather than rounded forms. Gemstone cathedrals tend to be sliced smoothly from top to bottom and one or both ends are sliced off. Sometimes this results in two cathedrals with a very similar but opposite shape. Often one side of the cathedral is damaged, the the damaged side is cut off to be used to make the smaller slabs of uncut stones.
Larger individual amethyst crystal for sale are cut from formations similar to the above but with larger or more well defined individual crystals. They can be purchased in a wide range of sizes limited only by the size of the crystals found in any particular growth.
Simply cutting a crystal or geode into a sell able size does not make it lose its raw amethyst label. It is only when the stones are tumbled or polished that the label changes.
For information on Amethyst Gemstone Meanings be sure to visit our Amethyst Crystal page