Looking ahead, we see a royal wash of purple, a spell of sobriety that could put Dry January to shame, and a sparked love story or two. ‘Why?’ you ask. Well, because amethyst is the birthstone for February. You’ll have to carry on reading if you want to learn more!
Amethyst is the purple variety of the quartz mineral species. Its colour can range from cool, blueish tones to pale lilac, intense royal violet and a sumptuous reddish purple sometimes referred to as ‘raspberry’. Amethyst also commonly displays a property called ‘colour zoning’, which usually consists of angular zones of darker or lighter colour.
Amethyst can be found in igneous, metamorphic and sometimes even sedimentary rock across the globe, but is produced in abundance in Brazil and Uruguay.
Once upon a time the amethyst was regarded - and priced - as highly as diamonds, emeralds and rubies. Its deep purple hue, historically perceived as symbolising power, earned the amethyst its original title of ‘Royal Stone’, with permission to sport amethyst an exclusive royal privilege. The sumptuous violet gemstone can found in royal collections across the globe, from relics of ancient Egypt and Rome to the current British and Swedish crown jewels.
In the 19th century a vast amethyst deposit was discovered in Brazil and a torrent of low-quality stones quickly cheapened the purple quartz’s image, the once opulent gem losing its allure. Up until the last decade, high jewellery creations featuring amethysts have been anomalies.
However, with an ever-growing demand for jewellery that stands out from the crowd, jewellers are now increasingly seeking stones beyond the ‘cardinal trio’ of diamonds, emeralds and rubies. With this, the amethyst has recently begun to regain its sparkle. In 2018, Dior’s Tête de Mortring collection favoured the statement mauve jewel, whilst a high jewellery Bulgari necklace in the same year combined a whopping 425.43 carats of amethyst with pink gold and almost 12 carats of diamonds.
Thanks to its wine-like hue, amethyst was associated by early Greek legends with Dionysus, the God of Wine. Other legends reflected the belief that amethyst kept its wearer clear-headed and quick-witted in battle and in business affairs, subsequently earning the crafty gem its reputation for assisting in sobriety, its name derived from amethystos, meaning ‘not drunk’ in Ancient Greek.
St. Valentine himself was famously thought to sport an amethyst ring carved with an image of Cupid, making this spirited purple gem a jewel for lovers as well as the upper echelons. If your Valentine is worthy of a regal show of affection then look no further; an ethical amethyst jewel is a sure-fire way to make her feel like queen bee.
Traceable, fair-traded amethyst can be found set in our recycled silver Amulets of Harmony pendants and stacking rings.
If now’s the time to confess your love with a statement a little more show-stopping, why not work with us on a one-of-a-kind creation, set with as many grape-hued gems as your heart desires? Get in touch today to learn more about our bespoke service…