See our interesting facts about amethyst gemstones and see just why they are such a popular choice of gemstone when we choose jewellery.
With its stunning purple colour, this coloured gemstone is very popular in all types of jewellery. This gorgeous gem is abundantly available, making even the finest pieces very affordable. This gemstone is widely available as large stones, yet is still very desirable. What makes this beautiful gemstone so well loved and what should you know about taking care of your lovely Amethysts?
Interesting Facts About Amethyst Gemstone
Amethysts are a type of microcrystalline quartz and these gemstones get their colour from the compound Iron. Amethysts are the most valued variety of quartz and range in colour from deep purple to pastel rose. The wide range of purple hues that this stone is available in makes this a very popular choice for use in jewellery.
Did you know?
- The beautiful Amethyst is the popular birthstone for the month of February.
- Amethyst is a type of Quartz.
- Amethyst is used in celebration of both the 6th and the 17th Wedding Anniversary.
- The Ancient Greek name for Amethyst means ‘Intoxicated’.
- The chemical symbol for an Amethyst is SiO2
- When an Amethyst and Citrine occur in the same crystal the gemstone is half yellow and half purple. These fascinating gemstones are known as Ametrine.
- Amethysts were at one time as expensive as Rubies and Emeralds.
Amethysts in History
Amethysts are shrouded in superstitions and are reported to fix a wide range of maladies. Because of its grape like colour this gemstone has long been associated with wine. The Ancient Greeks believed that Dionysus, their god of wine, created Amethysts and that this gemstone could protect its wearer from drunkenness. It is thought that the Ancient Greeks even made drinking vessels of it in the belief that it would prevent intoxication! Leonardo Da Vinci once wrote that the Amethyst gemstone was able to ‘quicken the intelligence’ and ‘dissipate evil thoughts.’ A Roman Historian, Pliny the Elder reported that Amethysts could be used as a charm against witchcraft.
Amethysts of fine quality have long been used in religious and royal jewellery due to its connection with power. The gemstone very quickly became known as the Papal stone, as it was thought to promote celibacy, and Bishops today still wear Amethyst rings.
At one time, Amethysts were only available to the rich and mainly to royalty. In recent years, large deposits of this beautiful gemstone have been discovered and this is what makes this fascinating gem so affordable.
Amethyst gemstones are found in the USA as well as:
What to Look for in an Amethyst
Assessing the quality of an Amethyst can be done in much the same way as it can with other gemstones. Start by considering the 4 C’s.
- Colour – The very best colour of Amethyst is a very strong purple, with a reddish tinge. The colour should be consistent with no visible toning which is so common in most Amethysts. Care should be taken that the gemstone is not too dark as this can affect the brightness and brilliance of the overall gemstone. Any Amethyst that has any visible browning is much lower in value, as are stones that have a weak purple colour.
- Clarity – As Amethysts are so widely available, most of these gemstones faceted for use in jewellery are free from eye visible inclusions. Amethysts of fine quality are not rare, although a stone may be forgiven small imperfections if the colour is the dazzling sought after reddish purple.
- Cut – Due to the abundance of Amethyst, this gemstone is available in many shapes and sizes. You can get them in a wide range of cuts such as ovals, triangular, pear shapes and cushions. GIA states that Amethyst is also used in carvings.
Amethyst is also a very popular gem for cutting into a variety of freeform shapes. This is done by hand or by automated cutting.
- Carat – As Amethysts are easily available in large sizes, their price per carat does not increase rapidly with size.
How to Care for and Clean Your Amethyst
As a quartz stone, Amethyst is relatively hard and durable and can be worn daily. Take care when storing your Amethysts as harder stones, such as Diamonds can easily scratch their surface.
Like most gemstones, Amethysts can be cleaned very well using warm soapy water and a toothbrush. Amethysts can also be steam cleaned, but never use ultrasonic cleaners to clean your gemstone as this will damage it.