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.
Seals and signet rings (from Latin “signum” meaning sign) were used in the earliest civilizations and are of considerable importance in archaeology and history because of their practicality. The useful seal evolved into jewelry because of its utilitarian purpose of authenticating a document while being portable. At a time when few could read or write, seals bore a distinguishing mark or badge, equivalent to that of a signature. The seal was essential for establishing the ownership of property, for legitimizing business transactions, for rulers, governments and church officials authenticating any kind of correspondence. The signet ring became popular for its convenience because the seal was ready to be used at a moment’s notice. Only later did it become ‘a piece of jewelry’. The signet ring has been worn and used throughout history in all cultures around the world.
Shaken or stirred, cocktail rings have never gone out of style.
In order to appreciate the cocktail ring, it is essential to understand its background. Not surprisingly, the cocktail ring got its start in America during Prohibition. The 1920s decade in America was a time of excess. Social, cultural and artistic dynamisms fueled opulent lifestyles despite the Eighteenth Amendment.
It failed to sell! After a TON of publicity and excitement around Lucara’s 1,109-carat Lesedi la Rona rough diamond, the tennis-ball sized stone failed to sell at auction Wednesday.
Continuing with our pearl theme for the month, here are some pearl facts by the numbers.
At Christie’s auction house in April 2007, $7.1 million was paid for a suite of natural pearl jewelry that had been owned by the maharaja of Baroda. The original seven strand necklace is now two strands.