Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Regal Amethyst

 Amethyst, diamond and enamel ring by David Webb


Storied Past
Amethyst jewelry and decorative items have remained a perennial favorite among knowledgeable collectors for eons--this luscious gem seems to have never fallen off the short list for jewelry fans. Its rich grape Kool-Aid tint comes courtesy of aluminum and iron in the mineral. Absent those impurities, it would just be crystal clear quartz.

And since quartz is generally thought to be the most abundant mineral on earth, you can understand that it is sourced in deposits in such disparate regions like, Brazil, Bolivia, Canada, India, Madagascar, Mexico, Myanmar (formerly Burma), Namibia, Russia, Sri Lanka, Arizona-US, Uruguay and Zambia. Keep track, there may be a pop quiz later on.

Legends Galore
Purple has long been considered to be an important royal color, so amethyst found its way into the British Crown Jewels long ago. Catherine the Great and Egyptian nobility also adopted the purple sparkler for their regal splendor. 

Tell Us More
The original Greek word, amethystos which became our amethyst actually means "not drunken". So it was often carried as an amulet to guard against intoxication. Belief in that fable resulted in many ancient Grecian goblets being carved from the amethyst stone. 

Legends and folklore aside, most people just love the stone for its richly vibrant hue. And why not? It lends a royal flair to all we wear . . . as for the intoxication protection, I'm pretty sure you don't want to rely on that aspect, though. 

But for paying such good attention, no pop quiz. Cheers!

Amethyst Ring: David Webb

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