What is the Meaning of Amethyst?
This colorful quartz has been one of the most prized gemstones for centuries. This lively quartz stone varies in color from no distinguishable color to light lavender, to a rich deep purple.
According to Ancient Greek mythology, this gemstone was said to be dyed by the tears of the god Dionysus. Though the tale was a bit convoluted, the stone was ultimately identified with the concept of purity. According to myth the god Dionysus, known for his fondness of drink, was seeking an object upon which to vent his frustration when a young girl crossed his path.
The maiden was on her way to worship at the temple of the goddess Diana. When the young woman cried out to the goddess for help, the goddess turned her into a quartz, a shimmering white stone.
When the drunken Dionysus realized what he had done, he began crying into his goblet of wine. This caused the goblet to overturn. The red wine in the god's cup ran over the stone and was believed to dye the quartz purple.
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The Symbolism of Amethyst
The amethyst has been used in royal jewelry across the centuries as the color purple has been used to symbolize royalty. You can find stunning examples of this purple quartz in the royal jewels worn by the English monarchy. There are also exceptional examples of these stones in the collections of Bavarian, Norwegian, and Luxembourg royal jewelry collections.
Those of the Christian faith have also used the amethyst as a symbol. Believed to symbolize Christ, the amethyst has been worn historically in Bishop rings.
The Four C's:
If you are a jewelry fan, you will likely realize that the Four C's of Carat, Cut, Color, and Clarity can have a huge impact on the value of many stones. As with other stones, the Four C's are important when discussing amethyst jewelry. However, these elements don't work for this beautiful gem exactly as they do for other stones.
The color of amethyst can vary widely. Ranging from visibly clear to deep purple, this special stone may also appear to have tints of bronze or brown. These tints can have a huge impact on the value of your purple quartz stone.
Another thing to look for with color in your amethyst is color zoning. Noticeable differences in color across the body of the stone, or color zones, will greatly reduce the value of an amethyst.
Although clarity can have an impact on the value of your amethyst, so long as inclusions are indistinguishable to the naked eye, they will not greatly reduce the value of your stone. Indeed, color is more important in determining the value of this particular gem than minor flaws. Even with minor undistinguishable flaws, an amethyst with good color will retain most of its value.
Amethyst can be cut into a wide variety of shapes. As this is the case, you will be almost guaranteed to find a stone to fit your personal style. You will find these gemstones cut into standard shapes like rounds, pears, ovals, and cushions.
You will also find purple quartz cut into faceted patterns referred to as brilliant cuts. And, if you are exceptionally adventurous, it is possible to find this special stone cut into one-of-a-kind shapes.
Carat weight is always of importance in the discussion of gemstones. This stunning gemstone is often chosen as a center stone in jewelry as the cost of an amethyst does not increase in cost as dramatically with size as many other gemstones. Like other semi-precious gemstones, a large amethyst will be noticeably more cost-effective than precious stones like diamonds, rubies, sapphires, and emeralds.
Where is Natural Amethyst Found?
Natural amethyst is found inside geodes. Growing as crystals within these hollow rocks, these purple gems can be found the world over. However, the largest amethyst geodes tend to come from South America. It should also be noted that the darkest natural gems are generally found in Australia.
How is Amethyst Graded?
Whether you are born in the month of February or are just a fan of this engaging purple gemstone, you will want to understand how amethysts are graded for quality.
Amethysts gemstones typically fall under a AAAA to B grading system.
It is extremely rare to find an amethyst with this rating. Only 1% of all amethysts can be expected to fall under this category. These stones will have no inclusions visible to the naked eye. Considered heirloom quality, these much sought after gemstones will have a distinctly dark purple hue.
You can expect to find only 10% of amethyst to fall into this category. These exceptional gemstones will have no visible flaws and a medium to dark purple color.
Approximately 33% of amethyst on the market will fall into this category. You can expect to find slight inclusions in these medium purple gemstones.
Still considered good, these light purple amethysts can be expected to have slight to moderate inclusions.
There are also amethysts with a B grading, but we do not recommend B grade amethysts to be set in jewelry. They have obvious inclusions, and its color would have hues of grey and/or brown. B grade amethysts are usually chosen to be cut into cabochons, or beads. However, there are circumstances where it can be treated to have a richer purple color.
Choosing an Amethyst Engagement Ring
An unconventional way to showcase your love, amethyst engagement rings are a trendy and beautiful alert that we are excited to get on board with. An amethyst makes for a good choice for an engagement ring owing to its gorgeous deep purple hues offering a slightly vintage appeal to it. Whatever style of engagement ring you do choose to set your amethyst in, we are certain that they will stand the test of eternal love.
Amethyst is a form of quartz and is about a 7 on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness. A ranking of 7 simply means amethyst is a durable jewelry gem (and a stunning one) as long as sufficient precautions are taken to prevent scratching, as with most gemstones. So while it may not be as strong as a diamond or a sapphire, it still is pretty durable if cared for correctly. Diamonds maybe 10 times harder than amethyst, but amethyst Is definitely strong enough for daily wear, and the fact that it looks so beautiful makes it a lovely choice for an engagement ring.
Taking Care of an Amethyst Engagement Ring
As with most gemstone rings and diamond engagement rings, it is essential to take preventive care to maximize the beauty and sparkle of the stones. Avoid any hard knocks directly on the amethyst and ensure that the setting is protective and of course, flattering! Diamonds around amethyst make for a beautiful and vivid setting and lend to the uniqueness of the design but also protect the amethyst from any damage.
There's no reason you couldn't wear your amethyst engagement ring as an engagement ring but we recommend storing it in a soft jewelry box at night and keeping it away from other jewelry pieces that could scratch it. Amethyst may dull if exposed to direct sunlight, so it is essential to care for your amethyst engagement ring with love. You should avoid showering with it and remove it while at the gym, swimming, or while applying lotions.
Lab or Natural Amethyst?
Although natural amethyst is still readily available, it is also created synthetically. Also called a synthetic amethyst, a lab grown amethyst is produced by a synthesis method (hydrothermal growth) which grows the gorgeous purple stone crystals inside a high-pressure autoclave. It is said to replicate a good quality natural amethyst. Like that of a lab grown diamond, a lab grown amethyst too has the same chemical and physical properties as that of its natural counterpart. The only way to tell them apart is with advanced gemological testing which is a costly way to authenticate a natural grown amethyst.
As discussed, while the lab grown amethysts are chemically and optically the same as natural amethysts, there are two main differences between them that you should know about. Lab grown amethyst tends to be naturally more uniform in color (yay purple hues) and they usually do not have the flaws of natural amethyst crystals because they simply are grown in a more controlled environment. Naturally grown gems like amethyst do have slight imperfections and the color spectrum ranges from purple to white to blue. You can also look for things like a bubble or a crack within the amethyst - that could point towards it being a natural crystal. We see you studying those gems with a keen eye now, just like an expert!
Did you also know that a great majority of amethyst you will find today has been heat-treated to enhance and deepen the purple hues that the stone is so well known for?
What does amethyst do? What is it used for?
Many refer to the Amethyst as an “all-purpose stone” while some believe that it invigorates calmness and promotes serenity. It is also said to reduce anxiety and any pain.
Amethyst is used to protect you from stress and anxiety and all the symptoms associated with it ranging from headaches, fatigue, and anxiety. It also aids in cell regeneration and improvement of the skin. So many uses for one gorgeous gemstone!
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