Valentine’s Day marks an ideal occasion for giving a gorgeous amethyst stone in fine jewelry or an engagement ring to the Pisces in your life. Celebrated as “extravagance in violet,” amethyst has long been considered one of nature’s most precious gemstones (alongside diamonds, rubies, sapphires, and emeralds). Coveted and sought after for centuries by wealthy royals and church leaders, the stone is considerably more attainable today. In addition to serving as the official birthstone of February, the gem is a suggested gift for 4th, 6th, and 17th wedding anniversaries.
Amethyst Throughout History
Used as adornments since the ancient Egyptian era, amethyst stones have been found in Aztec graves. The Greeks subscribed to the notion that the striking gems prevented intoxication, which explains why so many ancient wine goblets were carved from the stone. In medieval times, soldiers believed amethyst had protective qualities, and would adorn their armor with the stones before they went into battle. Leonardo Da Vinci wrote that amethyst was able to dissipate evil thoughts and quicken the intelligence. Because purple dye was scarce centuries ago, amethyst stones were reserved for the robes and jewelry of kings and queens. A large amethyst is still considered one of the most precious gemstones among the British Crown Jewels.
A number of miraculous powers are linked to amethyst. It has been rumored to protect crops, improve the accuracy of hunters, protect wearers from snake bites, and ward off evil spirits. Some believe that wearing this gem with pearls and 14-karat gold can help to resolve money issues. In addition to commemorating friendship, amethyst is believed to put the wearer in a virtuous, chaste state, resulting in its popularity among clergy members throughout history.
To learn more about amethyst in modern jewelry, check out our Style Guide for Amethyst Rings.
Shades of Amethyst
A variety of quartz, the amethyst is considered a purple stone, although it can take on a range of shades, from light pinkish violet to lavender to dark purple. The rarest and most valuable amethyst stones are a deep medium purple with rose-colored flashes. The ideal grade, called “Deep Siberian”, will exhibit a primary purple hue of around 75-80 percent.
The stone is produced in abundance from mines throughout the world: Russia, India, South America, Korea, Austria, Africa, Canada, and even across the United States. Some of the most valuable of these stones are produced in Mexico, where deep purple prismatic crystals radiate outward from a common attachment point. Due to a major amethyst deposit discovered in Brazil during the nineteenth century, the stone has become more easily obtainable in recent decades.
Brilliance offers a beautiful selection of loose diamonds and fine gemstone jewelry, including diamond rings and diamond bracelets accented with amethysts.