Amethyst is a variety of quartz known for its purple, violet hue. The purple coloring of amethyst is caused by irradiation and iron impurities in the crystal. The dark purple colored amethyst is found in Siberia with 75-80% purple hue and 15-20% blue hue. This type of amethyst is known as the “Deep Siberian.” The lighter purple amethyst, “Rose de France,” was once undesirable but is now very popular in jewelry. The hardness of amethyst, 7 on the Mohs scale, makes the gemstone ideal for jewelry making. The lighter purple amethyst are more popular now, while there is a high demand from collectors for the “Deep Siberian.”
Amethyst has been used as a gemstone since the ancient Egyptians. The ancient Greeks and medieval Anglo-Saxons also used amethyst. The Greeks believed that amethyst could prevent intoxication. The Greek word for the gemstone is amethystos, which can be translated to “not drunken.” The ancient Greeks would carve wine goblets from amethyst as an antidote for the alcohol.
The Europeans used amethyst as a amulet for protection in battles and in beaded strings to keep them cool headed. Amethyst was considered a symbol of royalty in the Middle Ages in England. Amethyst was considered extremely precious and one of the Cardinal Gems of the Old World. This lasted until large amounts of amethyst were found in Brazil forming in large geodes within volcanic rocks. Amethyst is considered a semiprecious gemstone currently.
The hardness of amethyst, 7 on the Mohs scale, makes the gemstone ideal for jewelry making. The lighter purple amethyst is more popular now, while there is a high demand from collectors for the “Deep Siberian.”
Check out all our beautiful amethyst pieces here!