Romancing the stone – Amethyst

Sally Thornton Jewellery Blog on Amethyst from AA Thornton Jeweller Kettering Northampton

I can remember as a little girl I was fascinated by an Amethyst however it was not a piece of jewellery but as an amethyst crystal that captured my attention.   In those days my father was still running our original shop in Market Street where he used a variety of crystals as displays and it was above all others the deep purple of the Amethyst that I admired so much

Now as a jeweller myself, Amethyst still remains for me one of the most popular affordable gemstones.    It is a variety of crystalline quartz and is found in all shades of deep purple through to pale lavender although the deep purple is the most sought after.

Many myths and legends are woven around Amethysts.   Leonardo da Vinci believed it could dispel evil thoughts and quicken intelligence.  Amethysts were supposed to ensure sobriety and because of this Bishops of the Anglican Church have worn Amethyst rings ever since the Reformation.

The earliest indications of Amethysts being used in Jewellery go back to around 3,100BC as beads and seals from this era have been found in Egypt.

Amethysts were used extensively in Victorian Jewellery.   The Scottish “Pebble” jewellery, much loved by Queen Victoria herself, frequently used Amethysts which were cut into shapes of thistles.

Although the main sources of this gemstone are found in Sri Lanka, USA and Russia it can also be found nearer to home in the china clay pits of Cornwall.

These beautiful purple stones are a favourite with the designers Dower and Hall setting Amethysts with pearls in Silver or Vermeil.

A touch of purple colour works well with marcasite jewellery as we can see the pretty butterfly brooch set with an amethyst.

Do be aware that the colour of an Amethyst may fade when subjected to heat or prolonged exposure to sunlight.  So to avoid this risk of colour changes try not to wear amethyst jewellery when for example you are out all day on your hot sunny holidays.

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