Les Mines d'Améthystes d'Auvergne

Mines de Pégut

Useful Information

Location: 63580 Champagnat le Jeune.
(45.46833, 3.41250)
Open: All year Sat, Sun, 10, 14.
Reservation mandatory.
Fee: Adults EUR 12, Children (0-4) free.
Classification: MineQuartz Mine MineFee Mining
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Guided tours: D=2 h.
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Bibliography: François Périnet (2015): Améthyste et microminéraux associés Filons du Champ des Mines, Ravin de Pégut La Chapelle-sur-Usson, Puy-de-Dôme Collection Jonathan et Magalie Plasse, Français - French pdf
François Périnet (2014): Exploitation de l'améthyste en Auvergne, Français - French pdf
Address: Les Mines d'Améthystes d'Auvergne, 63580 Champagnat le Jeune, Tel: +33-6-78-85-65-44. E-mail:
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.


1640 first written mention of amethyst in the Auvergne.
2006 opened to the public.


The Amethyst crystals are a result of the local volcanism. The magma provided the heat which caused hydrothermal convection in cracks in the rock. Such cracks are typically filled with minerals and ores deposited by the hot water, in this case the water contained mainly quartz, and as a result quartz crystals grew in the cracks forming veins. The violet color of the crystals is a result of radiation and a little iron in the water, at a temperature between 350 and 400 °C the result is amethyst. There are other minerals found in the veins, especially yellow quartz, goethite, psilomealne, agate, chalcedony, jasper, and ankerite.


Les Mines d'Améthystes d'Auvergne (The Amethyst Mines of the Auvergne) is a gem mine which is both show mine and fee mine. The name of the mine is actually Pégut Mine. While such mines are quite rare, the statement on their website that it is the only mine of its kind in Europe is definitely wrong. The mines were purchased by Jonathan and Magalie Plasse in 2006 and the historic mine reopened.

The town La Chapelle sur Usson was the heart of amethyst mining in the Auvergne. This was the result of the high quality of Pégut amethysts. The veins are up to two kilometers long, and there were numerous huge geodes found over the years. According to Legrand d'Aussy some geodes were like small caves, more than two meters long and big enough to be entered by a man. The first written mention of the amethyst was in 1640 by Martine de Bertereau where she describes a "Pégu mine". Queen Margot, residing in Nonette, asked her courtiers to bring her this purple stone. The locals exploited the veins, and in the summer Spaniards came on donkeys to buy the minerals, and trade them to Catalonia for cutting. The amethysts were also sold to Geneva, after an inhabitant of Vernet traveled to the city to sell minerals. But after the sale to Catalonia ended, the mines were closed and soon groundwater flooded them. In the 18th century, trenches were filled with rubble. In 1860 the mining was reactivated by Demarty with 20 workers, and he founded the Royat cutting factory in 1899 to produce inkwells, paperweights, and cufflinks. The mining finally ended in the middle of the 20th century.

After the mines were closed there were numerous digs by mineral hunters. Finally, the mine was purchased by Jonathan and Magalie Plasse. They removed the slag from the pit and discovered new amethysts in the abandoned mine. They have a shop selling minerals, but also pendants and other items produced from the amethyst. The mine tours are actually 2 h fee mining trips, where the visitors are allowed to keep their finds up to the size of an egg.