Amethyst – A Fashionable Stone in the World
Amethyst is the most valuable variety of crystal quartz in the world. It is a popular choice for fashion jewelry, especially because of the pastel hues and purple coloring, ranging from light to dark. The most expensive amethyst gems are the ones with a transparent deep coloring. Carat prices of the loveliest deep purple gemstones can fetch more than a hundred Euros in the market.
Large deposits of amethyst were discovered in Brazil in the 19th century. Since then it has become more affordable. Amethyst stones may be widely available today, but it is still a coveted gemstone because of its coloring and stunning appearance. Amethyst gemstones can also change in color when heat is applied to them.
Physical properties of amethyst gemstone
The biggest known deposit of amethyst was found in the 1900s in Brazil’s Rio Grande do Sul. A representative specimen now sits at the Washington Museum—a gemstone that by itself weights 200 kilograms. Most of the world’s most important amethyst deposits are found in igneous rocks or together with agate diamonds. More recently, a significant druse was found in the state of Maine in the USA. Some of the crystals were 19 centimeters long. The find amounted to as much as a thousand kilograms of amethyst.
What are the physical properties of amethyst that distinguishes it from other gemstones, aside from its purple tinge? One of the most stunning physical features of amethyst gem is its unconventional crystal structure, which makes evenly colored large amethyst stones difficult to find. Amethyst has a stratified crystal structure which give rise to lamellae of different shades, which studies reveal to be due to the iron constituent of the mineral.
Sources of amethyst around the world
Amethyst is one of the gemstones that can be found in many different parts of the world. Brazil and Uruguay are two of the biggest sources of amethyst gemstones. The Brazilian gems are mostly light purple in color, although more valuable deep purple stones can also be found. Meanwhile, the deepest purples are found in Uruguay. However, the stones mined from this country, although intensely colored often have blemishes. Third in line is the island country of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean. Other big deposits are found in Europe and North America, specifically in Germany, the Russian Urals and in the vicinity of Lake Superior in Canada. In Asia, amethyst may be found in Sri Lanka and Tibet.
Symbolisms associated with amethyst gemstones
In terms of symbolism, amethyst is the gemstone associated with the 6th and 17th wedding anniversaries. It is also the chosen birthstone for people born in the month of February. Because of its purple coloring, it has been coveted by royalty and members of the ecclesiastical community. The Greek word, “amethystos,” from which it was derived connotes “not drunk” or “not intoxicated” in English. Therefore, the stone is considered a protection from intoxication, delirium, and seduction.
Certain powers are also believed to be wielded by amethyst gemstones, based on the traditional beliefs of certain world cultures. For examples, the ancients believed that wearing the gemstone around the neck offers ample protection from snakebites, insect bites. The stone is also believed to drive out locusts, tempests, and evil spirits. Amethyst has a cleansing effect on the skin and the soul alike, while also capable of inspiring the intellect of the wearer. The gemstone is also associated with good luck during a hunt.
Furthermore, amethyst is tied to the ideals of piety, trust, and chastity. Because of these symbolisms, the purple gem figures repeatedly in the vestments and ornaments of the clergy of the Roman Catholic Church. Amethyst has also been established to be the stone that symbolizes friendship.
Tips on wearing and caring for amethyst gemstones
The attractive light lilac to deep violet amethyst gemstone requires tender loving care and attention, like other precious stones. Some of the amethyst stones that are used in jewelry become pale in color when exposed to sunlight. This is why any jewelry with precious amethysts gemstones must be hidden away from direct sunlight. Owners of valuable amethyst jewelry know how to prevent exposure to daylight, extreme changes in temperature, and exposure to black light, such as those found in discotheques. As such, avoid wearing jewelry with amethyst adornments on the beach while sunbathing, in hot tubs, and while exercising. Also, make sure to remove rings and bracelets when using household products such as cleansers and detergents.
It is also important to pay attention to the build-up of grime on amethyst jewelry by using warm water and a mild detergent to wash them away before it becomes too difficult to remove the grime using a brush with soft bristles. Gently scrub away, and dry the piece of jewelry using a soft cloth. With regard to storage, make sure that they piece is completely dry before placing it inside the jewelry box. Wrap the piece using a piece of soft cloth so that it is not mixed up and tossed around with the other contents of the box.