Amethyst is the purple color variety of quartz. It is said to be the most popular purple gem and one of the most popular gemstones of all time. Amethyst has been around for ages, the gem can be traced back to ancient Greece. The word Amethyst is actually driven from the Greek word “amethystos” which roughly translates to “not drunk” or “remedy against drunkness.” The violet tones resemble the color of grapes and wine. Legend has it that Bacchus, the greek god of wine, once tried to kill a maiden for rejecting him. Diana, a greek goddess, intervened and turned the maiden into a pure clear stone in order to spare her from being ripped apart by tigers. Remorseful, Bacchus poured wine over the stone, causing the stone to turn a beautiful violet hue. The stone was then given the name of the maiden, Amethyst.
This myth dates back to the age of the Renaissance. The story was created by a French poet named Remy Belleau in 1575, as part of a poem on gemstone beliefs. The story may be attributed to Belleau, but the idea that the stone could guard against drunkness actually goes back to Ancient Greeks. They believed that one could drink all night and remain sober, as long as they had an amethyst in their mouth or on their person.
Custom emerald cut amethyst ring 4 prong set in a 14k yellow gold band with milgrain & filigree detail. Size 7 but sizable. $425
Fine amethysts have been set in religious jewelry and royal crown jewels for ages. It was once considered equal in value to ruby, emerald, and sapphire. Fine amethyst was often seen on Bishops as well as British royalty. For members of the Catholic clergy the stone represented piety and celibacy, and for royalty it was associated with luxury. Amethyst is the birthstone for February and one of the emblems of the twelve apostles.
Custom 14k yellow gold studs with 4 prong set oval amethyst weighing 2.61ct available for $325.
Small amounts of amethyst can be found in many locations throughout the world in igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary rocks. The biggest amethyst deposits are usually found in the fractures and cavities of basalt flows. Large basalt cavities can contain hundreds of pounds to several tons of amethyst crystals. Amethyst can be found in France, Canada, Madagascar, India, Morocco, Myanmar, Mexico, Russia, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, Sri Lanka, and here in the United States.
10k yellow gold art deco ring with cabochon cut oval bezel set amethyst weighing 8.11ct. Size 71/4 but sizable available for $350.
Ametrine is a variety of bicolor quartz, it occurs when amethyst and citrine come into contact with each other in a single crystal. Ametrine is rarely found in nature, and only commercially produced in the Anahi Mine is eastern Bolivia.
Handmade 14k yellow gold drop earrings with 1 8-prong set cushion cut ametrine with 1 suspending 4-prong set citrine. Available for $850.
Many people associate dark purple with amethyst, but amethyst actually occurs in a variety of purple shades. Sometimes the purple is so light that it looks clear, and sometimes the stone is so dark that it nearly looks black. It can also be a reddish or violet tone. The intensity of the purple color can vary from one part of the crystal to another. These color variations, known as “color zoning,” are obvious in many amethyst crystal specimens and often reflect the crystal’s hexagonal geometry. The most intense purple color is often seen near the termination of the crystals. Amethyst begins to receive its purple color during crystal growth, when trace amounts of iron are incorporated into a growing quartz crystal. Once crystallization occurs, gamma rays, emitted by radioactive materials within the host rock, irradiate the iron to produce the purple color.
Custom 14k white gold necklace with 1 4-prong set round faceted amethyst weighing 1.80ct with a 0.18ctw diamond halo. Available for $2250.
Amethyst healing properties are as plentiful as the stone itself. It is thought of mostly as a protective stone. As it is linked to the crown chakra, it is helpful in purifying the mind and clearing it of negative thoughts. This includes the negativity of stress and anxiety, which is why many meditate with amethyst so as to rid themselves of that darkness. Amethyst healing properties are especially useful in regards to work-related stress, because the stone is also associated with abundance; therefore relieving stress while emanating prosperity. The amethyst properties which facilitate intuition and communication can also be applied to increased work effectiveness.
Left to right: 14k yellow gold fish hook drop earrings with 1 6-prong set pear shaped peridot with suspending bezel set pearl shaped amethyst. Available for $1550. 14k white gold fish hook drop earrings with 1 4-prong set oval amethyst & 1 suspended green quartz. Available for $850.
Although amethyst is a durable gemstone with a Mohs hardness of 7, some care still is needed to maintain its polish and natural color. They should be kept away from other hard stones that can scratch the surface of the stone. Long-term storage of amethyst and amethyst jewelry is best done in a jewelry box or other dark location. The color of some amethyst can be subject to fading by prolonged exposure to direct sunlight or bright display lights.
Top to bottom: 14k yellow gold filigree ring with radiant cut 4-prong set amethyst. Size 6.5 but sizable. Available for $250. 14k yellow gold pendant with 0.20ct marquis cut diamond above trillion cut amethyst and 1 suspended fresh water pearl, all on a 18k yellow gold chain Available for $2450.
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