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‘Not drunken’

We use Amethyst’s extensively in our collections. We love its rich colour, its vibrant presence, its affordability. Amethyst is a stone that works well set in silver or in gold, with diamonds or on its own. It has a mystical past and we like that, it creates interest and we like interesting things. It is used as a birthstone for the month of February. But what is it?

Amethyst is the purple variety of quartz and is a popular gemstone. If it were not for its widespread availability, amethyst would be very expensive. The name “amethyst” comes from the Greek and means “not drunken.” This was  due to a belief that amethyst would ward off the effects of alcohol. Its colour is unparalleled, and even other, more expensive purple gemstones are often compared to its colour and beauty. Although it must always be purple to be amethyst, it can and does have a wide range of purple shades.

Amethysts range in colour from vivid purple to shades of mauve, violet and lilac, often with flashes of pinkish-red and blue – the latter, in particular, is highly desirable and can have a quite magical, mesmeric effect. The colour should be uniform throughout, and the gemstone should possess good lustre – in the case of amethyst, the desired quality is known as “vitreous”.

There is Rose de France Amethyst which is defined by its markedly light shade of the purple known to the amethyst family. The colour is reminiscent of a lavender shade.

There is also Green Amethyst which is believed to strengthen the mind and provide support during emotional upset or stressful times. It is aligned with the heart chakra Anahata and is very useful in promoting a meditative state. Green amethyst is also said to link the spiritual and physical aspects of life through the heart channel, making it an exellent all-round healing crystal.

Cut

Amethyst is cut into a variety of standard shapes and cutting styles. These include rounds, ovals, pears, emerald cuts, triangles, marquises, cushions, and cabochon’s. Facet patterns include the classic triangular and kite-shaped facet arrangements called brilliant cuts, rows of concentric parallel facets called step cuts, and mixed cuts that combine both facet arrangements.

Amethyst has been the most-prized quartz variety for centuries. Once available only to royalty, relatively plentiful supplies have made amethyst more widely available in modern times. Today, because of its availability and affordability, amethyst is used in mass-market jewellery as well as custom designer pieces. This makes amethyst one of the world’s most popular coloured gems and the most commercially important gem-quality quartz variety.

So there you have a bit more of an insight into this fantastic stone we love and we hope you will too.

Fiona