Sunday, July 12, 2009

Amethyst

by Bonnie of The FamiLee Jewels

Amethyst, the most beautiful of all crystal quartz, is an extravagance in violet. It occurs in hues from a slightly pinkish violet, called "Rose De France" to an intense violet with red flashes, called "Siberian" which is the most sought after variety.

Amethyst is set beautifully in shining sterling silver in this pendant by Murano Silver.

Amethyst may exhibit flashes in one or both of the secondary hues, red or blue. The most valuable stones are transparent and pure violet in medium to dark tones with no shading toward red or blue.

Shiny Adornments has used amethyst rondelles with oxidized silver in a dramatic combination.

Amethyst was used as a gemstone by the ancient Egyptians and was largely employed in antiquity for intaglios, a type of carved gemstone in which the figure is engraved on the surface of the stone rather than left in relief by cutting away the background, as in a cameo.

Ancient Greeks and Romans wore Amethyst and made drinking vessels of it in the belief that it would prevent intoxication. Medieval European soldiers wore amethyst amulets as protection in battle. Beads of amethyst have been found in Anglo-Saxon graves in England. Ranking members of the Roman Catholic Church traditionally wear rings set with a large amethyst as part of their office.

Amethyst is produced in abundance from Brazil where it occurs in large geodes called almonds that are found within volcanic rocks. It is also found and mined in Austria, Brazil, Uruguay, Russia, India and Zambia. Amethyst occurs in areas of the United States and Canada but these specimens are not considered jewelry quality.

Amethyst briolettes have been paired with ametrine to show off their sparkling beauty in this necklace by Intuitive Jewellery

Amethyst is the birthstone associated with February. It is one of the most common crystals found in the earths crust. Amethyst is sensitive to light and heat; these stones should not be worn while sunbathing or tanning and should be protected from extreme heat as they can lose their color or yellow when exposed to either. They can be cleaned with a soft cloth and gentle soap and water.

Amethyst stones are beautiful when set in either silver or gold. They combine well with a variety of other stones including citrine, peridot, diamond, moonstone and pearls.

Featuring artisan handmade creations by the etsy starving artists jewelry team. SATeam members create handcrafted jewelry and beads. More information about our team and its current etsy shop owner members can be found at SATEAM.etsy.com.

1 comment:

thisnortherngirl said...

Great post! I've been fascinated by amethyst ever since I went to an amethyst mine and "dug" my own. Lots of fun. And what a great stone to use in jewelry! Beautiful, rich colour!