Shine Bright Like An Amethyst, February’s Birthstone
“If you want to make a statement, wear purple.” —Baron Davis
Did you know that amethysts were once more valuable than sapphires? This lilac to deep purple variety of quartz were exceeding rare until the 19th century, and were worn by royalty around the world. When large deposits were found in Brazil, the stones became more accessible to the public. The amethyst was a favorite of Catherine the Great, who draped herself in amethyst jewelry. More recently, Wallis Simpson turned heads in 1947 with this magnificent Cartier-designed amethyst and turquoise necklace.
6 strange amethyst facts
- The gemstone’s name comes from the Greek, amethystos—drunk. Greeks thought it was a remedy against drunkenness (due to its wine-like color)
- Ametrine is a naturally occurring combination of amethyst and citrine—purple and yellow.
- Leonardo da Vinci thought it could control evil thoughts and make men shrewd in business matters.
- Why February? It’s been said that St. Valentine wore an amethyst ring with Cupid’s face carved in it.
- Heat treating amethysts may turn them yellow—which means that they’re now a citrine!
- The rarest shade is “Deep Russian” or “Siberian,” which has a very deep purple color with blue/red flashes.
- The amethyst is a powerful, protective gemstone, supposedly keeping the wearer from harm.
- Improves strength and wit—and boosts personal empowerment.
- It’s known for an energy that promotes balance and harmony and as a natural tranquilizer, calming the mind and helping the wearer sleep.
- It’s also known to enhance psychic abilities and bring clarity.
Buying and care
- A lot of amethysts are heat treated, which makes its color brighter and stronger.
- There are synthetic amethysts out there. You can’t tell on your own, but a jeweler must tell you if a gem is natural or synthetic.
- The most popular color is strong reddish purple or purple, with no brown or bronze tints, according to the GIA.
- Always look at the piece in daylight so you can see its true color. You shouldn’t see any inclusions.
- Amethyst is valued more for its color than for its weight.
- It’s a fairly hard stone (7 on the Mohs scale), so you can be comfortable with everyday wear. As always, don’t store it next to harder stones, since it can still be scratched.
- Keep amethyst jewelry away from strong heat (no beaches!)
Be like the royals—add the passionate, elegant purple of amethyst to your jewelry collection. And speaking of your jewelry collection, don’t forget to get an updated appraisal so you can know the value of what you have. Contact me at (617) 304-0174 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Brilliantly yours, Aimee
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