Amethyst: Emblem of Chaste and Elegant Simplicity

A true celebrity in the world of coloured gems—amethyst will surely brighten up your mood and outfit any time of the day! Listed as the most prized species of quartz mineral, the native beauty of this precious stone is richly present in different civilizations, monarchies, and lifestyles. These wine-like colored stones complement your collection of jewelry in sterling silver, gold, diamonds, and pearl.


Symbolism and Lore

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The prominent purple stone appeals to symbols of spirituality, supernatural protection, and innocence in love. Amethyst is February’s birthstone and astrologically Aries in the zodiac dominated by the planet Mars. Ecclesiastically speaking, it is the episcopal gem of the Bishop—adding dignity and beauty to the property of the Roman church (religious jewelry). No wonder why with regard to sacerdotal things, St. Valentine is also famous for always wearing an amethyst with him.

The word amethystos means “not drunk” in Ancient Greek. This precious stone is believed to protect the wearer from drunkenness. The ancient myth narrates that a beautiful nymph was beloved and beset by Bacchus the Greek god of wine. In her effort to escape the arrogant wooing of the latter, her patron goddess Diana intervened and metamorphosed the nymph into a crystal. Baffled in the lost love, Bacchus granted on the stone the colour of the purple wine he best loved and vowed sobriety to whoever would wear the amethyst.

In more ways than one, amethyst is associated with strong sentimental comforts. As such it is called the “soldier’s stone” believed to keep people calm, heal wounds, and grant protection to its wearer. This precious gem is also appropriate for mourning as a natural tranquiliser alleviating grief and sadness. Amethyst is symbolic to calmness and sobriety that people wear these precious stones to keep such level-headedness with them despite agonies. Truly, amethyst activates spiritual awareness in any individual.


Valuing Amethyst

Now, how can we tell a good amethyst apart? The finest amethyst holds a strong deep purple color and is perfectly transparent with no visible color zoning. Preferably saturated reddish to dark purple but not too dark that may reduce its brilliance. International Gem Society (IGS) characterized amethyst as a variety of quartz hexagonal or trigonal in crystallography with a refractive index of 1.544–1.553 and scores a 7 in the Mohs scale for hardness. It only shows a great number for its wearability. These stones are vitreous both in polish and fracture lustre. Topping the list is Siberian amethyst (no longer refers to its origin) which glows with red and blue flashes. The term Siberian is now a trade and grade which refers to colors similar to those mined in Siberia. Siberian amethyst weighs .5-1 carat while cabochons weigh 1 carat plus.

Geostone Group had their stones tested by Gemological Institute of America (GIA) which was then brought to Tucson to test the market as Moroccan amethyst (image on the right: “hourglass” color zoning). However, the dealers find the stones not valuable. Until gem carver Glen Lehrer aided as the marketing advisor who took the Moroccan amethyst to greater heights with the use of Lehrer’s cutting styles. 

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On the one hand, pinkish purple color is also celebrated as Rose de France (image on the left). When an amethyst has eye-visible inclusions but displays attractive color, they are usually cut into beads and cabochons (convex style of cutting). Amethyst is popular for a variety of cuts in standard and freeform shapes. This gemstone best emphasized its brilliance through cutting—automated or handcrafted. Naming a few includes brilliant cuts, facet patterns, rounds, ovals, pearl, triangular, and kite-shaped arrangements. A generous amount of amethyst is mined throughout Brazil and Siberia. Other amethyst mines are located in Uruguay, South Africa, Zambia, North Carolina, Georgia, Nevada, and Arkansas.

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These wine-coloured stones, modesty aside, have their fair share of royalty dating back to 3100 BC cabochons set in gold bezels; Amenemhet II entombed with an amethyst scarab in a gold heart; King Tutankhamen’s tomb contained amethyst beads; and Cleopatra’s amethyst signet ring engraved with Mithras, a Persian deity who symbolizes Divine Idea, Source of Light and Life. Grandiose British Crown Jewels is also an amethyst worn by Edward the Confessor dated 11th century; Queen Elizabeth I amethyst necklace; and the coronation regalia include numerous amethysts. Russian Royalties such as Catherine the Great was also passionate with amethysts. Indeed, the celebrated purple crystal indulges our love for spirituality, calmness, and elegance in the face of simplicity.

The charm of this violet precious stone ensures a growing number in demand from wedding rings, engagement rings, and to parure. Inspired by the rich profile of amethysts? Get that regal accent on your jewelry collection from handcrafted sets of diamonds and other precious stones. Visit Meycauayan Jewelries today!

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