Happy (belated) Valentine’s Day!
For some of us the color purple is the quickest way into our hearts. Often associated with royalty, luxury, magic and mystery it’s no wonder why some individuals are intensely drawn to the color. It might not be a semi-precious stone but we think those with February birthdays lucked out with his particular gem.
Amethyst is composed of the second most common mineral in the Earth’s crust, quartz. Although when one typically thinks of amethyst they picture purple, the stone can also be anywhere from a light pinkish violet to deep purple that can appear more blue or red depending on the light. The most valuable coloring of Amethyst is a strong reddish-purple shade. Colorization of the stone is due to irradiation, iron impurities and additional trace elements.
Historically, Amethyst was associated with Bacchus, the gold of wine, due to the stone’s color and was believed to grant clear-headedness and stave off drunkenness. The Greek word for the stone was “amethystos” meaning “not drunken”. First discovered in 3000 BC in the European area the popularity of the best amethysts have led to the stone been used in religious and royal jewelry.
Until sometime in the 1800’s Amethysts were as valuable and expensive as emeralds, sapphires and rubies. The monetary value decreased when a large deposit of Amethyst was discovered in Brazil. However with the drop in value it became a stone that’s more affordable and easily owned and is still considered the most valuable of the quartz crystals.
Besides rarely having inclusions visible to the naked eye, Amethyst is an easily maintained stone due to it’s level of hardness. Ranked a 7 on the Mohs hardness scale, this makes Amethyst a great stone to set in rings and earrings. Cleaning is relatively simple – just remember to avoid coming into contact with household cleaners. Amethyst jewelry can be cleaned with soap and warm water. If you want your jewelry professionally cleaned, a ultrasonic machine is OK as long as your stone hasn’t had any fractures that were filled, however steam cleaning is not recommended (although once in awhile it should be fine.)
You may remember during November we talked about how Amethyst is often heat treated to change it’s color – usually to what is known as Citrine but can also become what is known as Ametrine (a combination of both purple and yellow) and occasionally Amethyst will turn green.
We are happy to help you design the perfect Amethyst jewelry, or stop by to see our current stock. We have several stud earrings, some dangle earrings in both silver and gold, as well as gorgeous pendants and a beaded pearl and amethyst necklace. If you’re out of state feel free email and request photos of our stock. Contact Us HERE.