Amethyst is a variety of quartz and the world’s most popular purple gem. It’s the birthstone for February, and has been used for personal adornment for thousands of years. Like the word “turquoise,” “amethyst” is now the name of a color as well as the name of a gemstone. Let’s learn more about this beautiful stone and its use in jewelry.
What Color is Amethyst?
Amethyst is always purple with a beautiful, vitreous luster and can appear transparent or translucent. With vivid hues spanning from lilac to lavender to dark purple, the spectrum of this gem is mesmerizing. Amethyst gets its purple color from the presence of iron impurities in the crystal quartz structure. When the crystal is exposed to radiation and heat, the iron makes it turn purple; the more iron and radiation, the darker the purple color.
Its name has a meaning you might not expect from a gem. The deep purple color of amethyst reminded Ancient Greeks of wine so it was named “Amethystos,” or “not intoxicated.” Ancient Greeks and Romans believed amethyst could keep someone from getting drunk, so they used it to make wine glasses, thinking it would prevent overindulgence. Medieval soldiers also wore the stone into battle to protect themselves and aid them in staying focused.
Today many still believe that crystals have unique healing properties. People around the world use amethyst to alleviate anxiety, minimize stress, and promote calmness. In color psychology, purple is a bold, regal hue that boosts wisdom and strength. Raw amethyst crystals also look beautiful on their own and people frequently use them in home décor.
Is Amethyst Good for Engagement Rings and Jewelry?
It’s not often you spot someone wearing an amethyst engagement ring, which makes this stone ideal for non-traditional brides. The deep violet hue stands out and can have a slightly vintage edge to it. It looks lovely with all metals; white gold may display more bluish undertones, while a warm metal will magnify the richness of the deep purple. Amethyst is also a very affordable stone.
Amethyst has a hardness of 7 and doesn’t break by cleavage, making it durable enough for use in rings, bracelets, earrings, pendants, and any type of jewelry. While it is softer than other stones, Amethyst is a durable gemstone, but some care is needed to maintain its polish and natural color. If you take good care of it an amethyst engagement ring or piece of jewelry is a beautiful and affordable option.
Amethysts will never sparkle quite like diamonds, and they’re not supposed to, but they can show their unique beauty with the right cut. In engagement rings, you can see amethyst in various cuts such as marquise, pear, oval, round, triangle, cushion and emerald, and when cut expertly, the color and sparkle of an amethyst will come through.
Purple has long been associated with royalty because it was an expensive pigment to make before chemical dyes were invented. If you like the idea of a ring fit for a queen, an amethyst engagement ring is a great option. Give us a call at 303-385-8449 or click here to schedule an appointment to design your dream ring!