Artisans worked with jade, much like how we work with diamonds today. Because of jade’s scarcity, lapidaries had to work with caution and precision. Any flaws were removed or reduced through careful carving.
Brazil has long reigned as one of the leading producers of amethyst in the world. Today, Brazil effortlessly produces thousands of tons annually while countries in second place rarely hit four digits. In 2016, Brazil nearly made up 66% of all amethyst production. Of the Brazilian states, Rio Grande do Sul produces the most. Brazil not only produces a lot of amethyst, but many of its specimens are beautiful, too. Brazilian amethyst has a long and fascinating history starting in the early 1800s.
Brazilian diamonds today are well-known and pretty. But in the days of exploration, mercantilism, and colonialism, diamonds were known only to come from India. The discovery of diamonds in Brazil was shocking, and since then, the history of Brazil's gemstone trade, especially diamonds, has been wrought with conspiracy and crime.