Ah yes, the purple stone. Amethyst, the birthstone for February got its name from the Greek word “amethystos” which means “not drunken”. Amethyst was suppose to ward off the intoxicating powers of Bacchus which is why wineglasses were often carved from it. Amethyst is also the purple variety of quartz family. Historically, the finest amethyst were found in Russia. Today, Brazil is the primary source as well as Zambia. Amethyst is found in royal gem collections all over the world, from ancient Egypt to the British crown jewels. It was and still is, a very popular gemstone in Russia and has been used throughout Russian history. Saint Valentine was thought to have worn a ring with with an antique amethyst carved with an image of cupid. It was also the stone used in Bishop’s rings and has been used in many different religious icons and artifacts around the world. It is also the gemstone for the 6th anniversary of marriage. The best amethyst is a deep saturated slightly reddish purple, a very rich, very regal looking purple. Another one of Mrs. Jone’s personal favorites.
Please tell me, are you a lover of amethyst? Is it your birthstone?
Below are some beautiful examples of amethyst jewelry. Of course, I had to include the beautiful suite of amethyst and turquoise jewelry owned by the Duchess of Windsor. The iconic Cartier amethyst, turquoise and diamond bib necklace owned by the Duchess of Windsor. Photo courtesy of Sotheby’s.
Cartier amethyst, turquoise and diamond bead bracelet owned by the Duchess of Windsor. Photo courtesy of Sotheby’s.
Antique carved amethyst and diamond earrings, circa 1890. Photo courtesy of Simon Teakle.
Taffin amethyst and pink sapphire cocktail ring. Photo courtesy of Taffin.
*The featured coral and amethyst bead necklace, ring and earrings are by Cartier.