“Amethystos”, the Greek word for “not intoxicated”, could not be a more adequate stone to represent the month of February. It is a busy month in terms of festivities for the vast majority of the world and especially our own United States with the celebration of Mardi Gras. However, this stone is more than just a ward against inebriation and the potential to make a fool of oneself. Amethyst has long been in correlation with balance, peace and calm; an accurate description when looking at this whimsical beauty and its play of color.
A type of quartz, amethyst crystals form many times inside hollow rocks known as geodes. When the correct amount of iron and high-energy radiation mix, the brilliant purple is created ranging from a pale lilac to reddish royal purple. It sits at 7 on the Mohs hardness scale, making it relatively easy for jewelers to work with and buyers to find their desired cuts. Buyers should be aware that this stone should not be worn in direct sunlight for long periods of time, as it is possible for the stone to become “sun-bleached” and lose its charming hue.
Found predominantly in four parts of the world with the largest producer being Brazil and the greatest display of color in Zambia, the 6th and 17th wedding anniversary stone is also mined in Arizona and Uruguay, near the Brazilian border. Uruguay produced the world’s
largest amethyst geode. Standing 11 feet tall, the Empress of Uruguay was sold to a couple in Australia to be put on display at the Crystal Caves, southwest of Cairns. Though not for sale, her estimated worth is $250,000.
The reddish purple stone has become a beloved addition to the birthstone family. Long before the massive deposits were discovered in Brazil during the 19th century, the stones were considered scarce. An amethyst of decent size and weight could have demanded a price tag to match that of an emerald or ruby. Priests, royalty and members of society who held high rank, even St. Valentine, wore a ring made of amethyst carved to resemble Cupid.
Liberty Coin & Currency has a number of beautiful pieces featuring amethyst. Stop by our locations in Portland and Vancouver to take a look and speak with a specialist!
If you like this article, then you might enjoy other articles in our archives, such as Five Timeless Spring Jewelry Trends.
Liberty Coin & Currency specializes in rare coins and currency. We are a family-owned business located in Portland and Vancouver. We are also gold, silver, diamond, currency and jewelry buyers. Visit us first for a free evaluation.