Amethyst is the name of the most popular purple "semiprecious" stone. It is a type of quartz mineral. The color of amethyst can be either very light or quite thick. Lilac, bluish and purple shades stand out. Amethysts are characterized by the presence of color zoning in the form of alternating light and dark stripes. In jewelry, this inexpensive gem can often be represented by large specimens with good purity. In the old days, amethysts often decorated the salaries of icons. A large amethyst also adorns the crown of the Queen of England.