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Tuesday, 26 August 2014

All About Amethysts.

Amethysts are one of my favourite naturally occurring stones.  I find their purple hues stunning and I always marvel how nature is capable of creating such things of beauty.  So I have decided to dedicate this post to them.
Modernist Style Sterling Silver And Amethyst Vintage Ring. 

Amethyst is a type of  purple quartz, it can be found in may shades from a light lavender pink through to deep purple shades.  Siberian amethyst ( the term doesn’t necessarily mean it comes from Siberia ) refers to darker amethyst.  Amethyst with a more pinkish tone is named ‘Rose De France ‘.
Amethyst is a hard durable stone, and is often banded in colour,  so its usually cut into rounded brilliant shapes or smoothed into cabochons to help display a more uniform colour.

Tumbled Amethyst Stones Displaying Banding.

The use of amethysts in jewellery can be traced back to the times of the ancient Egyptians and they have never really gone out of fashion.  Until the 18th century amethyst was one of the most expensive gemstones available, considered as valuable as diamonds, sapphires, rubies and emeralds.  Then large deposits were discovered in places like Brazil which rapidly reduced their rarity and as a result their price.
Amethyst is the birthstone of February and has associations with the star signs, Pisces, Aries, Aquarius and Sagittarius.  It is considered a symbol of piety, modesty, peace of mind and is popular in meditation and spiritual healing.
Its believed the origin of the word amethyst means ‘ not drunken ‘ and there are several myths surrounding the Greek God of intoxication ‘ Dionysus ‘  and a chaste maiden who spurned his advances.  Whilst she fled from him the Goddess Diana took pity on her,  and turned her into a white stone.  Full of remorse Dionysus cried tears over the stone which turned the stone purple,  there are variations on this, such as he poured his wine on the stone, or knocked over his drink in a show of guilt/remorse but the end result is pretty much the same.  Indeed in ancient times many drinking vessels were carved from amethyst in a bid to prevent intoxication.
Amethysts are currently mined in several countries including Brazil, Kenya, Madagascar, USA and one of largest mines in Maissau in Austria which is open to the public.  Where you can excavate your own amethyst polish it then take it home.  I know it might not be most peoples ideas of a holiday but that is so on my bucket list.

Currently available in amethyst in our store;

Modernist Style Sterling Silver And Amethyst Vintage Ring.
Silver, Diamond and Amethyst Candy Hearts Ring

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