All About Amethyst: The Gemstone of Royalty

Amethyst is one of the most sought-after semi-precious colored gemstones, distinctively breathtaking with its gorgeous purple shades and abundant worldwide availability.  Amethyst presents many exciting attributes, making it more than just a beautiful purple gem.  Exploring the folklore and gemological aspects of amethyst offers a world of exciting information. 

This blog post will cover the topics of Amethyst Folklore & Associations, The Mineral Family Quartz, Quartz Composition, Formation, Attributes, Decorative Properties, Taking Care of Your Amethyst Jewelry, and Grandma’s Jewelry 123: Vintage Amethyst Jewelry. Whether you adore vintage jewelry or contemporary styles, learning all about amethyst will make choosing your favorite gem even more special.

Amethyst Folklore 

Amethyst is the derivative of the Greek word, amethystos, meaning to intoxicate. Amethyst is synonymous with the Greek legends of Dionysus (referred to as Bacchus), the god of wine and debauchery. Greeks would wear amethyst to ward off drunkeness, allowing them to maintain mental clarity during battles and daily life.

Amethyst was initially considered as a very precious gemstone, on par with sapphires, emeralds, and rubies. Amethysts would be set into British royal crowns, only available to the upper hierarchy of society. Bishops were seen wearing amethysts rings, making it an exclusive gemstone only prestigious members of the community could obtain (GIA). 

Vintage jewelry and classic vintage jewelry often display vintage influences, such as milgrain (beaded edges), diamond-cut, antique detailing, or ornate patterns, harkening back to the days of royalty.

Associations

February’s main birthstone is amethyst. However, it is enjoyed by people celebrating their birthday in other months, providing the perfect alternative for those who adore purple.  Amethyst is the designated 6th year anniversary stone and also makes a heartfelt Valentine’s Day and Christmas gift for any loved one in mind. 

Amethyst is associated with the crown (head) chakra and is revered by metaphysical practitioners as a powerful healing crystal. Restore positive energy, relieve depression/anxiety/confusion, and increase prosperity with amethyst, a stone always associated with wealth and abundance. Remove unwanted outside influences by meditating with amethyst and incorporating it into your healing practices. Amethyst also works well with other stones for a soul, body, and mind experience. Placing amethyst on the window sill for capturing moon energy, next to your bed and carrying amethyst with you in a satchel are great ways to reap the benefits of this crystal.

Did you know? Amethyst is also one of the emblems of the twelve apostles. 

The Mineral Family Quartz 

Amethyst is the purple variety of the quartz mineral family, and is widely available in different caratages, cuts, sizes, and shades. The quartz family also consists of other different gem-quality varieties to choose from, making it very versatile and important to the jewelry industry. Other common quartz crystals include citrine (yellow), white (rock crystal “colorless”), smoky quartz (brown), rose quartz (translucent pink), prasiolite (greenish-yellow to yellowish-green), aventurine (translucent green reminiscent of lush green forests and trees), and more.  These are “relative” stones to the amethyst.

Quartz Composition: Formation & Attributes 

Quartz is a mineral composed of silica (silicon dioxide) with a composition of SiO2, with one part silicon and two parts oxygen, forming a distinctive triangular prism/tetrahedron crystal instantly recognizable to experts and gemstone enthusiasts. Amethyst crystal habit features spectacular six-sided prisms. It is a part of the Trapezohedral crystal class with a Trigonal crystal system classification. 

Amethyst contains trace amounts of Iron (Fe), oxygen, and sometimes manganese/other elements, causing the quartz crystal to turn purple. Amethyst crystals often appear with an ombre shading, starting with a colorless “white,” giving way to a rich saturated purple seen on the tips of the crystals. 

Amethyst is frequently subjected to irradiation, a process that enhances the color by changing the optical properties of the stone without damaging the gem. Irradiation is a common practice for many crystals, bringing out vibrancy without interrupting their stability.

Formation

Amethyst and other quartz form in igneous rocks as the magma cools. This slow, years-long cooling process gives quartz its stunning small, medium, and large crystals over time. These quartz crystals are found worldwide, while amethyst is found in the USA and Brazil, to name a few.

Attributes

The Mohs scale of hardness was developed to analyze the hardness of minerals and ranks minerals from 1-10. For example, Talc rates 1 as the softest. Diamonds are a 10, and are the hardest. 

Amethyst and all quartz rates 7-7.50 on the Mohs hardness scale. This makes amethyst durable and hard enough to be worn daily. Taking care not to knock, drop, or scrape your amethyst jewelry will extend the life of any piece. 

Decorative Properties

In its crystallized form, quartz is frequently displayed in households and offices with its breathtaking hues and textures. These geodes command high prices due to their uniqueness. 

Amethyst has always been popular for jewelry design for both one-of-a-kind artisan jewelry, vintage jewelry, and fine finished jewelry found in any jewelry store. Amethyst can be cut into faceted stones, smooth cabochons, and buffed beads with any variation of these cuts. Amethyst is available in common shapes, including round, square, emerald cut, marquise, fantasy/fancy modified cuts with many facets. It is also set into modern or vintage jewelry creations in its natural geode form, cut into slices.

Taking Care of Your Amethyst Jewelry

Whether you have brand-new or vintage jewelry, treating your jewelry with care is an important step in jewelry maintenance. Amethyst can be cleaned with ultrasonic jewelry cleaners and liquid jewelry solutions, depending on the metal mounting (metal design) with caution.

Using warm water/mild soapy solution is the safest way to clean your amethyst jewelry. Cleaning your amethyst with a soft brush (such as a toothbrush) will gently remove bacteria and debris. Running it under cool water and patting dry after this process makes your jewelry sparkle again.

Grandma’s Jewelry 123: Vintage Jewelry 

Grandma’s Jewelry 123 specializes in classic vintage jewelry and is proud to offer a variety of bespoke amethyst vintage jewelry designs to add to your collection. Each piece is special, featuring creative detailing and one-of-a-kind styles, incorporating the mesmerizing aspects of amethyst fused with vintage jewelry design. 

Celebrate your next special occasion or treat yourself to bespoke vintage jewelry! Shop us today and uncover an eclectic array of classic vintage jewelry to choose from; we are confident we have what you are looking for. We currently have amethyst necklaces, 14k gold amethyst bracelets, amethyst rings, and amethyst brooches in stock. Check back often to view the newest pieces we have for sale.

Questions? Contact us today.  We may have the very piece you have in mind. 

Click here for Amethyst Necklaces, Bracelets, Brooches, and Rings!

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