< February birthstone
Amethyst has been the most popular variety of Quartz over the centuries. The name comes from Ancient Greek and means “ Not-intoxicated”. People believed the stone protected it’s owner from drunkenness ( I should wear a one before going out for drink perhaps..). Also they thought it had magical and medicinal properties. Fine Amethysts have been set in religious jewelry and royal crown jewels for ages. It was once considered an equal to ruby, emerald, and sapphire. Amethyst is a semiprecious stone and is the traditional birthstone for February.
Until the nineteenth century Russia was the major source for Amethyst. However when a huge amethyst deposit in Brazil was discovered, the beautiful purple gem suddenly became plentiful. The value changed. It’s very common logic in the modern business world: when supply higher than demand, the product will lose value.! Luckily the loyalty of those who like amethyst has never been slowed down.
Nowadays most amethyst sources are in Brazil, Canada, India, Madagascar, Mexico, Myanmar, Namibia, Sri Lanka, Tanzania and China. Cutting and Marketing centers are mostly Idar-Oberstein in Germany and they tend to focus on high-end quality, while India and Thailand are more into commercial quality goods. However there are always some exceptions if you know where to get the best cutter in Thailand. We do know some.
The hues for amethyst vary from light pinkish violet to deep purple and also possibly has red or blue as second hue. In the trade the deep purple has the highest value, commonly described as “ Super” “ Extra”, “AAA”, “African” or “Zambian”. However, most commercial Jewelry designers tends to fa-vors “Medium-dark” or “AA” grade. As they feels this hue of stones bring up their design more at-tractively.
Once on a Valentine’s day 20 years ago, I received the first amethyst jewelry set from a very lovely gentlemen. Each amethyst was bezel setting with steering silver connecting with each other as a neckless and bracelet. Perhaps I was too young and had zero knowledge of colored stones and was only interested in diamond at that time. I didn’t respond well when I received this gift. It seems I broke break this lovely gentlemen’s heart and he didn’t offer me any jewelry gifts since then. Some friendly advise to all girlfriends out there- always appreciate whatever gift you receive. Don’t ever make such a stupid mistake as I did.
Luckily I am in the Jewelry industry these days and through our Bangkok cutting factory, we have primary access to the best cuts of amethyst in abundance for our designs. Last year, we created a dome shape cut amethyst together with Tsavorite as a cocktail ring. I attended a wedding invitation in Madrid with that sample ring. As you may know at most traditional Spanish weddings there tends to be a lot of drinking for the whole night. But I have no idea why I didn’t have any handover (which I expected to have) the next day. While I write this article at this moment I really wonder, perhaps the Ancient Greeks really knew what they were talking about.
Happy Birthday to all the February Birthday friends!