Amethyst is the birthstone for February and one of the emblems of the twelve apostles.
This ancient necklace dates to 2000BCE. An inscription on the center stone is a South Arabian script from the 8th century BCE. - From "Gems and Gemstones: Timeless Natural Beauty of the Mineral World" by Lance Grande and Allison Augustyn, 2009, University of Chicago Press.
Because of its wine-like color, early Greek legends associated amethyst with Bacchus, the god of wine. Other legends reflected beliefs that amethyst kept its wearer clear-headed and quick-witted in battle and in business affairs. Because amethyst was associated with wine, it was believed that wearing amethyst prevented drunkeness. 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. It’s no wonder that fine amethyst adorns the fingers of bishops as well as the coronation regalia of British royalty.
Assessment of the following characteristics determines amethyst’s value.
• Color - The finest amethyst color is strong reddish purple to purple with no visible color zoning.
• Clarity - Most amethyst doesn’t have inclusions you can see without magnification.
• Cut - Amethyst is cut into a variety of standard calibrated shapes, including rounds and ovals.
• Carat Weight - Amethyst is available in all size ranges for setting into a variety of jewelry styles.
As February’s birthstone Amethyst in folklore attached to this gemstone, associates it with protection, tranquility, peace and sobriety. The amethyst birthstone comes in a variety of shades of purple, and can be a purple lilac in color. On the other end of the range, you can also get intensive violet amethysts, which means that you can love a birthstone that is as light or as rich as you need. The essence of the color purple, amethyst is beautiful enough for crown jewels yet affordable enough for class rings.
Amethyst was as expensive as ruby and emerald until the 19th Century, when Brazil’s large deposits were discovered. It was believed to prevent intoxication—amethystos means “not drunk” in ancient Greek. Today, as the most valued quartz variety, amethyst is in demand for designer pieces and mass-market jewelry alike, and its purple to pastel hues retain wide consumer appeal.
The patron of romantic love wore an amethyst ring carved with the image of Cupid.
Amethyst is one of the most rare forms of quartz and possibly the most popular form of quartz in the world. It’s a fairly hard gem, has six sides, and can be found within geodes all across the globe. Amethyst is usually available in crystal form or a mass. Many stones on the market are not natural; they are often heat treated to produce a darker shade of purple.
Amethyst is the purple variety of the quartz mineral species. It’s the gem that’s most commonly associated with the color purple, even though there are other purple gems such as sapphire and tanzanite. Its purple color can be cool and bluish, or a reddish purple that’s sometimes referred to as “raspberry.” Amethyst’s purple color can range from a light lilac to a deep, intense royal purple, and from brownish to vivid. Amethyst also commonly shows what is called color zoning, which in the case of amethyst usually consists of angular zones of darker to lighter color.
1. Geodes - In gem localities like Brazil, amethyst sometimes forms in hollow, crystal-lined geodes so big you can stand in them.
2. Affordable - Even fine amethyst has a modest price tag. Large gems remain affordable, as price per carat does not rise dramatically with larger size.
3. Ametrine - In Bolivia, amethyst and citrine occur in the same crystal. The unique gems, called ametrine, are half purple and half yellow.