Friday, February 5, 2016

Amethyst, February Birthstone

The ancient Greeks and Romans believed Amethyst would ward off the intoxicating powers of Bacchus, the God of wine; and keep the wearer clear-headed and quick-witted in battles and in business affairs. For centuries, Amethyst has been associated with many myths and legends as well as religions in numerous cultures. Not only is it the beautiful color that makes this gem very popular, but it is also widely available in different shapes and sizes which makes it more affordable. Amethyst complements both warm and cool colors, so it looks fabulous set in both yellow and white metals. This unique ability means it enhances almost every color in our wardrobe.

Fine amethysts have been set in religious jewelry and royal crown jewels for ages. It was once considered equal in value to ruby, emerald, and sapphire. It’s no wonder that fine amethyst adorns the fingers of bishops as well as the coronation regalia of British royalty. Amethyst is mentioned in the Bible (Exodus 28:19,39:12) as one of the twelve stones adorning the breastplate (hoshen) of the high priests of Yahweh.

Although jewelers might expect that an amethyst from Siberia or Zambia might have a better color than amethyst from Brazil, origin alone does not add value to amethyst. Value is based on quality, and color is the most important value factor regardless of the country of origin. The principal sources are Brazil, Arizona, Uruguay, and Russia. Notable occurrences of amethyst include Ontario and North Carolina. An astonishing 1,000 kilograms of Amethyst was discovered in 2008 at Diamond Hill quartz prospect in Abbeville County of South Carolina, ranging from one to fifteen centimeters and colors varying from pale to dark purple.

“Amethyst given to you the color kissed delicately as sea mist Amethyst.”  (Brackley, 2016)

Recommended list for reading and discussion:

                Amethyst. (2014) – Encyclopedia Britannica.
Jacquot, R., & Karwoski, C. (2009) Spectacular Amethyst: From the Diamond Hill
Quartz Prospect Abbeville Country, South Carolina. – Rocks & Minerals, 84 91), 66-68.
Liddicoat, Richard T. (2014) – Amethyst. Retrieved from AccessScience: McGrow-Hill
 Education at   on January 18, 2016.


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