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Amethyst is known to be a purple variety of the mineral quartz and is often used to make beautiful
amethyst jewellery including necklaces, earrings, bracelets and rings. The name amethyst
comes from the Ancient Greek where it meant “not intoxicated”. This stemmed from the belief that
the stone would protect the wearer from drunkenness. The amethyst is a semi precious stone and
is one of several forms of quartz.
Amethyst occurs in different colours ranging from a light pinkish to a deep purple colour. Amethyst
may also exhibit secondary colours within such as blue or red. The best and most valuable varieties
of amethyst can be found in Brazil, Sri Lanka, Siberia, and the Far East. The deposits with the
greatest significance economically can be found in various states in southern Brazil and also
in its neighbour Uruguay. The third largest export country is Madagascar. However, this
gemstone can be found all over the world. Good examples were found in Aztec graves,
though the amethyst deposits from which they were taken are no longer known today. On
the Canadian side of the large Lake Superior in the North of America, can be found a place
named Amethyst Harbour. Violet quartz can be found there in large quantities, though rarely
in what would be called gemstone quality.
Below: Amethyst necklaces from Modern Vintage Style
Amethyst is one of the most beautiful of all the crystal quartzes, however it also posed one question for
the scientists, that has not been answered to this day. The amethyst has its weight and its hardness in
common with other types of quartz, but the structure of the crystal is different, and it is quite
unconventional. The construction of the amethyst is stratified, and because of this amethyst can have areas
of colour with varying intensity. This is the reason why there are relatively few amounts of large cut amethysts
with an evenly distributed dark colour. This is despite the fact that amethyst is abundant in various different
parts of the world. It is only in recent years that scientists have been fairly confident about of having found
the real cause of the colour variation. It is now attributed to particular iron constituents combined together
with natural radiation.
One thing that is well known about amethyst however is the fact that the amethyst can change its colour
upon being heated. Smoky stones are changed at temperatures of as low as 250 degrees to a shining yellow
or brownish-red, whilst stones with a great degree of transparency, become colourless or yellow at 400 degrees.
Occasionally nature gives us a surprise by created bicoloured stones such as ones recently found in Bolivia.
This variety of amethyst is known as ametrine.
Some amethysts appear pale and almost colourlessness in the light of day The reason for this is still undiscovered,
however it is possible to bring the colour back them by using radiation. As these stones can lose their colour it is
know that amethyst jewellery should not be worn while sunbathing, or worn in a solarium. Fast changes of
temperature can also be damaging to the stone.
The Greek word "amethystos" can be translated as "not drunken", from Greek a-, "not" + methustos,
"intoxicated". And it was considered to be a great antidote against drunkenness. This is why wine goblets
were quite often carved from amethyst.
Medieval European soldiers took to wearing amethyst amulets to protect them in battle in the belief that
amethysts heal people and will keep people level-headed. Small beads of amethyst were also found in
Anglo-Saxen graves in England and Christian bishops would often wear rings set with an amethyst stone ,
an allusion to the description of the Apostles in the Bible as "not drunk" at Pentecost. In Tibet amethyst
was sacred to the Buddha and was often used to make prayer beads.
The hardness of minerals and gems is measured on the Mohs scale. The numbers on this scale are based
on the relative ease or difficulty with which one particular mineral can be scratched by another. But the Mohs
scale can be deceptive. The steps between each mineral are not evenly spaced. For example, diamond is
only one number away from corundum, however, it is generally much harder than gems in the corundum family
Commonly found substances like dust and sand are composed mostly of quartz, the species of
mineral that includes the purple variety amethyst. So, although amethyst is a lovely gemstone for
use in jewellery such as earrings and necklaces, it should always be treated with proper care in
order to prevent scratching or any other damage. Amethyst measures a 7 on the Mohs scale which
means it has good toughness, therefore it is suitable for all types of jewellery. This includes rings
as long as the ring wearer understands the limits of its toughness. A measurement of 7 on the Mohs
scale means that amethyst is a durable jewelllery gemstone as long as proper precautions are followed
in order to prevent scratching.
Abrupt changes in temperature can cause fractures in amethyst, and some of the amethyst colour can
fade with prolonged exposure to very strong light. Amethyst can also be damaged by ammonium fluoride,
hydrofluric acid, and alkaline solutions. Amethyst can be cleaned safely with warm soapy water.
Ultrasonic cleaners are generally safe except in the particularly rare situations where a stone is
dyed or treated .Steam cleaning is not recommended for amethyst, and it should not be subjected
to strong heat.
Temperatures that are either too hot or too cold can alter the color of Amethyst. When the gemstone
is in temperatures that are too hot, it may turn a yellow shade and when it is situated in temperatures
that are too cold, it may turn to a smoky grey colour
Manmade or lab-created Amethyst looks identical to natural ocurring Amethyst. Experts often have a
difficult time telling the difference. The main difference is that it’s quite rare to find a large amount of natural
Amethyst. For this reason, the natural varieties of the gemstone are generally more expensive than lab-made
Amethyst. However, it is generally very hard for anyone to be able to tell the differentce
Although individual companies may create their own gemstone quality descriptions, such as AAA, AA, A to
indicate the range of quality of their products, there is no standard quality grading scale for amethyst.
Amethyst is suitable for everyday wear and amethyst necklaces and pendants are very popular, however,
its Mohs hardness of 7 means it will generally show some wear as the years pass and may require repolishing.
These days consumers make more unconventional choices for engagement rings, choosing birthstones or
other coloured gemstones rather than the traditional diamond. It’s down to each individual's personal choice.
Although some jewellers might expect that a gemstone necklace using and amethyst from Zambia or Siberia
might have a better colour than amethyst from say Brazil, origin alone does not add in fact add value to
amethyst. Value is based on quality alone, and the colour is the most important value factor of the gem
regardless of the country of origin.
It depends on the particular type of metal that has been used in the jewellery, and whether or not the
jewellery piece contains different types of gemstones. The best way to clean it is to use a brush with
soft bristles and warm water containing mild liquid detergent in order to softly scrub away the residue.
It is always best to keep your gemstone jewellery far from household cleaning products, which may
contain strong harsh chemicals. The reason for this is because these chemicals can change the
appearance of the gemstone or effect the durability of the jewellery. Ideally try to use only natural
cleaning products when wearing Amethyst jewelry, or remove it while you clean.
Both yes and no. When Amethyst is heated up it does turn a yellow colour. When it reaches a certain
stage of yellow, it is then considered to be Citrine. Amethyst is, ideally, a shade of violet purple. It
can also vary from dark pink to varying hues of light purple and dark purple.
Amethyst is known as the birthstone for the month of February. Also, it is believed that the Egyptian
pharaoh Cleopatra was able to capture the heart of two Romans because of the power of her Amethyst ring.
Some women in Rome feel that the gemstone will ensure a partners faithfulness.
There are several factors which contribute to the dirt that can build up on jewellery over time. Body oils,
makeup, soaps and food are just some of the various things that cause this build-up. It is very important to
clean your Amethyst jewellery on a regularly to ensure that gemstone doesn’t lose its sparkling natural beauty.
If you put your Amethyst jewellery in a box to store before it is fully dry, the metal may become somewhat tarnished.
The box that you have stored it in will also become mouldy. It i generally best to get yourself into the regime
of drying jewellery after cleaning, so dry jewellery before wearing it also.
Hot tubs and pools are not generally kept at room temperature. As it’s a requirement to keep your Amethyst jewellery
at room temperature to avoid discoloration, you should not enter a pool or hot tub with it on. Additionally, the harsh
chemicals from the chlorine can affect your jewellery.