Sheltering from the cold you rush inside to be met with some warm juice handed out by the guide. He tells you about amethysts, beliefs of ailments they may cure, stories and their value and passes around some specimens of the type of thing you may find, as well as some very expensive stones that you would be incredibly lucky to find. After the questions die down you set off to the mine entrance. Although the mine is not underground and simply covered by a roof you get the feeling you are going down to somewhere exciting. Walking down some steps you eventually reach the bottom where there is a large sheltered area. Hand tools are handed out and you start to dig. It is not long before you hear the delighted sounds of the people around you as, what looked like a stone, once dusted off turns out to actually be a beautiful amethyst!
You tend to become very precious about your own stone - much like the doting owner of a very ugly dog. Once you have one that will fit in the palm of your hand with your fingers closed around it (the size you are allowed to keep), you find one of the guides who will tell you about your amethyst - whether it’s pure and what the colouration tells you.
Most people do manage to dig around and find an amethyst. With your treasures tucked away in your pockets you will head back up to the top. Taking pictures of the wondrous landscape before leaving, you will head back to Luosto to compare gems.
Photography by Greta Henderson and Nayanee Perera (client)