What is the Difference Between Lepidolite and Amethyst

The main difference between lepidolite and amethyst is that lepidolite is a lithium-rich mica, while amethyst is a type of quartz. Moreover, amethyst rates higher on the Mohs hardness scale, with a rating of 7.

Lepidolite is a lithium-rich aluminium-based mica while amethyst is a crystalline quartz with colours ranging from deep reddish-purple to pale lilac. The colour of lepidolite ranges from pink to purple while the colour of amethyst ranges from deep reddish-purple to pale lilac. Since both lepidolite and amethyst have a purple colour, it’s easy to confuse between them.

Key Areas Covered

1. What is a Lepidolite
     – Definition, Characteristics
2. What is Amethyst
     – Definition, Characteristics
3. Difference Between Lepidolite and Amethyst
     – Comparison of Key Differences

Key Terms

Amethyst, Lepidolite, Gemstones

Difference Between Lepidolite and Amethyst - Comparison Summary

What is Lepidolite

Lepidolite is a lithium-rich aluminium-based mica. It is typically categorized as a mineral, not a gemstone. It’s a major source of lithium and some rare alkali metals such as caesium and rubidium. Brazil, Canada, Madagascar, Russia, and the US are countries that produce lepidolite. It’s only during the past decade that this uncommon mineral became widely available in the mineral market.

Difference Between Lepidolite and Amethyst

Lepidolite has a unique colour, which can range from pink to purple and has a pearly lustre due to the presence of lithium flakes. The mineral streak of lepidolite is white to colourless. Moreover, it rates 2.5 to 3.5 on the Mohs hardness scale. Lepidolite is easily available, affordable and is ideal for jewellery or ornamentation. It goes great with all kinds of clothing and metal bases. Lepidolite is also believed to possess healing and calming properties.

What is Amethyst

Amethyst is a popular gemstone due to its attractive purple colour. It’s crystalline quartz with colours ranging from deep reddish-purple to pale lilac. The value of an amethyst gemstone depends almost entirely on its colour. Reddish purple amethysts are the most popular ones. Moreover, amethyst is the traditional birthstone for February. Furthermore, amethysts are widely available, durable, and affordable. They are also readily available in large sizes. Due to all these reasons, amethysts are a favourite gemstone of jewellers, artisans, and craftsmen.

Main Difference - Lepidolite vs Amethyst

Amethysts have a relatively high hardness of 7 and a specific gravity of 2.6 to 2.7. The physical properties of amethyst are nearly identical to those of other quartz; their main difference is in colour. High-quality amethysts are found in Siberia, Brazil, Sri Lanka, and the Far East.

Difference Between Lepidolite and Amethyst

Definition

Lepidolite is a lithium-rich aluminium-based mica while amethyst is a crystalline quartz with colours ranging from deep reddish-purple to pale lilac.

Nature

While lepidolite is a lithium-rich mica, amethyst is a type of quartz.

Colour

The colour of lepidolite ranges from pink to purple while the colour of amethyst ranges from deep reddish-purple to pale lilac.

Lustre

Lepidolite is pearly to vitreous while amethyst is vitreous.

Streak

The mineral streak of lepidolite is white to colourless while the mineral streak of amethyst is colourless.    

Mohs Hardness

Lepidolite rates 2.5 to 3.5 on the Mohs hardness scale while amethyst rates on 7 the Mohs hardness.

Crystal System

Lepidolite has a monoclinic crystal system while amethyst has a hexagonal crystal system.

Conclusion

Lepidolite is a lithium-rich aluminium-based mica while amethyst is a crystalline quartz with colours ranging from deep reddish-purple to pale lilac. Amethyst rates higher on the Mohs hardness scale, with a rating of 7, while lepidolite a Mohs hardness of 2.5 to 3.5. Thus, this is the main difference between lepidolite and amethyst.

Reference:

1. “Lepidolite.” Geology, Available here.
2. “Amethyst.” Geology, Available here.

Image Courtesy:

1. “Lepidolite-76776” By Rob Lavinsky, iRocks.com – (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Commons Wikimedia
2. “Amethyst Siberia MNHN Minéralogie” – by Marie-Lan Taÿ Pamart – Gallery of Mineralogy and Geology of the French National Museum of Natural History in Paris. (CC BY 4.0) via Commons Wikimedia

About the Author: Hasa

Hasa has a BA degree in English, French and Translation studies. She is currently reading for a Masters degree in English. Her areas of interests include literature, language, linguistics and also food.

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