Gemstone Profiles: Amethyst

This month’s birthstone is Amethyst, and this gem is so appealing, you’ll want to celebrate!  Legend has it that the stone was created by Bacchus, the Roman God of Wine himself.  This purple jewel has quite an interesting history, making it a fun treasure to own.

Amethyst is a member of the quartz family and ranges in color from light lavender to dark royal purple.  The darker colored pieces are more highly valued; in fact, the stones are sometimes heated to deepen the coloration.  In 15th century France, a brooch featuring dark Amethyst could only be worn by the Royal family, and even then only for occasions of great significance such as national celebrations.  Amethyst was often worn in the belief that it would protect against the effects of drunkenness and poison, and was also thought to inspire bravery in soldiers during battle.  Several other stories suggest the gem guards against evil thoughts, helps hunters in the pursuit of prey, and makes the wearer a keen businessman.

Amethyst jewelry has been discovered dating back to ancient Greece.  The largest Amethyst on record is nearly 343 carats, and can be found in London’s National History Museum.  However, you don’t have to travel far to acquire a nice Amethyst gem.  Arizona happens to be the only state in the country where natural Amethysts can be found.  Several Native American artists such as Paul Livingston enjoy using Amethyst in their pieces.  Come on down to Old Town Jewels and discover one for yourself!

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