Entering the month of Love, we would associate this period with warm neutral shades such as blush, reds, and nudes – however February’s birthstone of Amethyst takes over this stereotype with its beautiful deep purple, violet and indigo tones that mesmerise and dazzle any wearer of the gemstone. Its tranquil and balancing properties are just what we need in lockdown days, and act as a little sparkle to what may be a normal day in your life.
The name ‘Amethyst’ comes from the Greek word of amethystos, roughly translated to ‘not intoxicate’, due to the Greeks believing that that crystal held powers preventing drunkenness. This power is said to originate from the Greek myth of the titan Rhea gifting the stone to the God of Wine, Dionysus, as a way of preserving his sanity. In more recent years however, the stone is now believed to hold powers such as promoting serenity, reducing anxiety, easing pain, and some even believe the semiprecious stone can aid the immune system, regulate hormones, and increase chances of spiritual enlightenment.
Regardless of the amethyst’s spiritual properties, it is one of the world’s most beloved and well-known crystals, and for a very good reason. With a history tracing the crystal all the way back to the Egyptians, where the stone was engraved and treated as a symbol of wealth, it still holds that beauty and grace today with people displaying its magnificence on rings, necklaces, brooches as well as being sewn into their clothes.
The crystal is a purple variety of Quartz, with its colour resulting from displacement of transitional elements and the presence of iron within its crystal structure. The cutting procedure of amethyst is relatively tricky when it comes to lapidary, due to the hues of the stone not being homogenous, or evenly spread, throughout the inners of the gemstone. Regardless of this, the gem’s hardness of 7 on the Moh’s scale (twinning with quartz) and its vitreous gleam makes it perfect for jewellery uses and costume embellishments.
Amethyst was once regarded as a cardinal gemstone, meaning it ranked as one of the most valuable gemstones in the world alongside diamonds, sapphires, emeralds, and rubies. However, with large deposits being found in various locations around the world, most particularly in Brazil where the ‘amethyst-grotto’ was found and presented in 1902, the amethyst has lost its value due to becoming more readily and widely available. This factor does not take away from the gems ethereal body nevertheless and tickles the fancy of millions of jewellery enthusiasts across the world.
Whether a dazzling pair of drop earrings, or a princess necklace, amethyst pendants and inclusions are a gorgeous addition to liven up your outfit, whether it be casual or formal attire. The violet and lilac tones compliment those who bare green eyes or cool toned skin colours (but do not fret warm skin tones – The amethysts which host a deeper fuller violet colour compliment your skin tone wonderfully! Princess Madeleine displays this perfectly below with a matching rose-gold tiara and lilac blush dress).
If regular amethyst doesn’t ring your bell as much as you would like, then there are other varieties of amethyst which are just as beautiful and unique – such as Ametrine, a mixture of amethyst and citrine creating a hypnotic mixture of oranges and violets, or Canadian Amethyst, which hosts a layer of Hematite under its surface which creates a red-ish hue beneath the purple colours of the crystal.
By Victoria Fletcher