Amethyst has been coveted for centuries by royalty, spiritual healers, Renaissance civilizations, and modern fashion designers. Its rich violet and wine colors certainly attract the eye. There are many reasons this gemstone has become one of the world's most popular. Below, you'll find a complete guide to amethyst history, uses, and significance in the world of jewelry. This regal, elegant gemstone gives the wearer a heightened sense of beauty and allure that is hard to find in a simple stone.
Meaning of Amethyst
Amethyst gets its name from the Greek word "amethystos," meaning "against drunkenness." The Greek legend states that the maiden Amethyste was on her way to worship the goddess Diana when Baccus, the God of Wine, pursued her in a drunken state. Unafraid, Amethyste rejected his advances, but Bacchus chased her and unleashed tigers to chase as she fled. To protect her maiden, Diana turned Amethyste into stone. Humbled, Bacchus poured his wine onto the stone, turning her into a gorgeous purple color. Since then, the amethyst stone has been considered in Greek mythology as protection from a drunken mind.
This lore carried into the Renaissance, as Leonardo Da Vinci believed that amethyst could dispel evil thoughts and sharpen the mind. In Hinduism and other Eastern religions, amethyst is representative of the crown chakra, which is responsible for wisdom, divine thinking, and psychological matters. It is believed that those who wear amethyst are given a sound, clear mind, and sharp intuition.
Amethyst is also the birthstone of February and is commonly used in meditation practices. It makes a lovely birthday or anniversary gift for the month known for love.
Properties of Amethyst
Amethyst is a variety of quartz and shares many of the same physical characteristics. It has a hexagonal crystal structure and a Mohs hardness of 7, making it ideal for cutting and shaping into jewelry. Unlike other varieties of quartz, the color of amethyst is caused by irradiation and the presence of mixed irons in the rock. Other trace minerals and impurities can cause the amethyst to turn different shades of purple, from deep red wines to bluish purples.
Amethyst geodes have been discovered in South America that are large enough in which to stand. Deposits of this size are often showcased in museums and collections for their dazzling appearance, while smaller deposits make their way into fine jewelry. The hexagonal crystal structure makes these geodes sparkle extravagantly.
Typically, the quality of amethyst is determined by the color and clarity of the stone. While the hue is largely a personal preference, the darker and more saturated amethysts are traditionally more expensive. Inclusions can also affect the quality of the stone. Most amethysts are free of inclusions, but those that have them are usually broken into smaller stones. Large pieces without inclusions are considered more valuable and are reserved for fine jewelry creations.
You can always find exceptional choices of amethyst within our finely curated collection. We carry only the most desirable gemstones and use quality settings to protect them from wear and tear over time. From classic solitaire designs to bold, statement pieces, our 14kt and 18kt gold and sterling silver amethyst jewelry collection are of the utmost luxury. With amethyst being one of our most popular gemstones, we also offer a wide variety of vintage choices to provide you with one-of-a-kind jewelry that you can cherish for a lifetime.
Why Is Amethyst So Popular?
There are many reasons why amethyst is the most popular gemstone in the world. The first is its striking color. Purple gems are relatively rare and can be prohibitively expensive. Amethyst was as costly and rare as rubies and emeralds until the late 19th century when mines in Brazil were identified as being rich with amethyst. This helped make amethyst more affordable and available in the jewelry world.
Today, amethyst can be found in North and South America, South Korea, and Africa in significant quantities. While amethyst is relatively affordable, some of the deeply saturated colors are rarer and command a higher value. With its range of colors and intense purple hues, amethyst jewelry is regal yet affordable and very wearable. Amethyst jewelry is notably splendid when paired with other precious stones such as diamonds, garnet, rose quartz, and topaz. You can find it in mixed gemstone settings or in unique, simple settings within our extensive collection.
The Allure Of Amethyst Jewelry
Amethyst is a regal, coveted variety of quartz, with colors ranging from deep purple to pale lavender. Some refer to green quartz as amethyst, but the warm green hue is actually called prasiolite. As the color of royalty, amethyst was used in fashion for the upper classes for centuries before deposits were found in Brazil. This discovery brought amethyst to a broader market, but it is still a highly desired gemstone with profound meaning and rich history.
Amethyst is often found in vintage estate jewelry in rich reddish-purple wine tones. The darker gemstones look stunning against a gold setting and convey the timeless beauty of classic jewelry. From Victorian-era Estate pins to retro cocktail rings to modern amethyst stud earrings, you'll find an impressive assortment of choices to elevate your fashion.
Modern amethyst jewelry is often set in sterling silver to compliment the bluer tones such as grape and violet. The cool amethyst colors complement the less common green prasiolite and other green gemstones like jade or peridot used to bring out the purple shades that make amethyst so unique.
Most Popular Types of Amethyst Jewelry
Amethysts are ideal for statement pieces such as pendants and bold necklaces or bracelets. You often see beaded necklaces and bracelets of amethyst because the color stands out and can act as a centerpiece for an otherwise simple outfit. The more vibrant colors are often utilized because amethyst, like most gemstones, is difficult to color match once it has been mined. More significant pieces of amethyst are often used to create statement designs, while the smaller rocks found in other mining operations are used for more delicate pieces of jewelry.
Amethyst birthstone jewelry is usually associated with rings and classic pendants. We can help you determine the size ring size for that special someone with a birthday in February. Choose from our extensive selection of drop, hoop, double hoop, and stud earrings for someone special in your life who deserves to feel fabulous every day, especially if that person is you!
Amethyst Jewelry Care
Amethyst has a Mohs hardness of 7, which means it is a durable stone. However, proper care must be considered to preserve the jewelry setting and ensure the gemstone does not get scratched or faded. Color fading can happen with over-exposure to sunlight, and even a hard stone like amethyst may be scratched during activity.
To care for your amethyst jewelry, make sure to remove it during physical or outdoor activity, as well as cleaning or showering. This will help preserve the setting and reduce the potential for scratching the surface. Otherwise, amethyst jewelry can be worn throughout the day with little care needed. While it won't be damaged by makeup, it is wise to wipe your jewelry after wearing makeup or perfume to prevent the oils from causing stains over time.
It is also recommended to store your amethyst jewelry in a jewelry box or dark area to prevent overexposure to sunlight. This can cause the color to fade over time. If you do not have a jewelry box, store your pieces in the box purchased to help protect them from the sun.