Monday, November 7, 2011

Amazing Amethyst

by ShadowDogDesigns
Amethyst seems to be a stone that everyone loves - and it is definitely a favorite stone for those who absolutely adore the color purple. The color purple is traditionally the color of royalty, and amethyst has been used since the beginning of history to adorn the rich and powerful. Amethyst was a very popular gemstone to the ancient Egyptians and beads of amethyst have been found in Anglo-Saxon graves. Medieval European soldiers wore amethyst amulets as protection in battle. It is the traditional birthstone for February.

Suslydic created a royal looking necklace using antique silver squares and amethyst briolettes:
The Greek word "amethystos" can be translated as "not drunken" (from Greek a, "not" and methustos, "intoxicated"). Amethyst was considered to be a strong antidote against drunkenness which is why the ancient Greeks and Romans often wore large pieces of jewelry made from amethyst and wine goblets were often carved from it! In Greek mythology, Dionysus, the god of wine and intoxication, pursued a maid named Amethystos, who refused his affection and prayed to the gods to remain chaste. Artemis answered her prayers and turned her into a statue of pure crystalline quartz. Humbled by Amethystos' desire to remain chaste, Dionysus poured wine over the stone as an offering, turning the quartz purple.

Wildcatleatherco created this beautiful amethyst and sterling silver bracelet:

Amethyst is a purple variety of quartz. Although it must always be purple to be considered amethyst, it can occur from a light pinkish violet color to a deep purple. The most rare, highly prized amethyst is called Deep Russian, a dark rich violet with prominent red hues. The average cost for a Deep Russian amethyst is, on average, $50,000 per carat!

Although amethyst is found almost world-wide, the greatest amount has been found and mined in Brazil, where it occurs in large geodes found in volcanic rock. Another large producer is Zambia in southern Africa. The largest amethyst mine in North America can be found in Thunder Bay, Ontario. However, amethyst is not the same everywhere. Different localities produce unique amethyst particular to that region or even to a particular mine. Experts can often identify the source mine when looking at the stone's color, shape of crystals, inclusions, etc.

Metaphysically, amethyst is a stone of spirituality and contentment. Amethyst is said to bestow stability and strength. It is a stone of meditation, conducting a calm energy to help enter and maintain the desired meditative state.

DYI! More and more, "green amethyst" is being offered. The term "amethyst" ONLY applies to purple stones. Less valuable pale amethyst stones are irradiated and/or heat treated to form the green color. The stones should be called prasiolite or green quartz and should never be marketed as "rare" since there is an abundance of pale lavender amethyst that can be treated to produce light spring green stones.

I thought it would be nice to share a few more pieces of jewelry from fellow JCUiN members who used amethyst in their creations:

This bracelet was designed by ChrysalisJewelry with furnace glass beads, amethyst, leather and copper:

Such gorgeous earrings of amethyst and sterling silver can be found in the studio of ElegantJewelDesign:

Faceted amethyst highlight the clear quartz nuggets of these earrings by ShadowDogDesigns:

I hope you enjoyed this short piece about amethyst. Next month another semi-precious stone will be highlighted.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you! It's nice to see these amethyst beauties on this page! Now I need to decide what next month's stone will be :)