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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

All About Amethyst

Amethyst is the birthstone for the month of February.  It is one of the most recognizable gemstones due to it's unique purple color and its relative abundance in nature.  Amethyst is actually just the name for the purple variety of Quartz, which is the second most abundant mineral in the earth's crust.

 Amethyst's typical hue ranges from a light pinkish violet to the vivid purple most people associate with the gem.  However, Amethyst is commonly color "zoned" so several different tones/saturation of violet and purple may appear in a single crystal.  Gemstone cutters are trained to cut rough amethyst crystal in a such a way that the finished gemstone looks consistent in color.  In rare occasions, the hue of a quartz crystal can change completely from one end of the crystal to the next, resulting in bi-color gems such as Ametrine a combination of the quartz varietals Amethyst and Citrine. (Pictured Below)

Amethyst has been worn as a gemstone for thousands of years.  The word amethyst actually comes from the Greek for "not intoxicated" as they believed that the stone prevented drunkenness.  Drinking vessels were often carved out of Amethyst in hopes that it would prevent them from becoming drunk.  There is also documented evidence of Egyptian's carving intaglios out of Amethyst crystals, and medieval soldiers wearing carved Amethyst amulets due to the belief that they had healing powers.  

Most of the Amethyst mined for jewelry in today's marketplace is located in the Minas Gerais region of Brazil, which is famous for it's large stock of a variety of different precious and semi-precious gemstones.  Other locales that produce a large amount of Amethyst crystals include Uruguay, Russia, Zambia, South Korea and the United States.  Below is a picture of an Amethyst boulder before and after it is cracked open. 

While not a terribly valuable gemstone due to it's abundance in nature, Amethyst is still coveted all over the world for its gorgeous purple color and it's cultural significance as the traditional birthstone for the month of February.  It can occur in very large sizes so it is popular as a gemstone for cocktail rings and large pendants as well as mother's rings and fashion jewelry.  

Visit us online at to view our large selection of settings.  All of which can be customized to accommodate an Amethyst.  

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