Amethyst

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 HISTORY and LORE

  • In Roman mythology, amethyst was created when the goddess Diana turned a maiden named Amethyst into stone to save her from being devoured by tigers.  The god Bacchus then poured wine over the petrified form, staining it purple.
  • Name comes from Greek amethystos meaning “not drunken”. For centuries, drinking wine from an amethyst cup was believed to prevent intoxication.
  • According to folklore, guarantees success in war, sports, business, and other competitive endeavors.
  • Birthstone for February and Pisces. Gen for the 6th wedding anniversary.

 

VALUE FACTORS

  • Color: Light to dark purple. Most expensive is deep “royal” purple. May show noticeable color shift – more violetish in daylight or fluorescent, and more reddish in incandescent light.
  • Clarity: Often lightly included. Minor clarity characteristics are accepted.
  • Cut: Faceted in many shapes and styles.  Also cabochons, carvings, fantasy cuts, and beads.
  • Carat Weight: Normally available in a very wide size range (up to 50 carats or more). There are faceted amethysts that weigh more than 1,000 carats

 

TREATMENT

  • Occasionally heat treated to lighten and improve color. The process duplicates natural heating that can occur in the Earth.  The effects are normally permanent, and the treatment creates no special care requirements for gem owners.

 

GEMOLOGY

  • A variety of quartz, the most abundant mineral species in the Earth’s crust. Other quartz varieties include citrine, rose quartz, smoky quartz, and tiger’s eye.
  • Composed almost entirely of silicon and oxygen; chemical formula SiO2. Color caused by trace amounts of iron.

 

CARE

Amethyst generally has good wearability.

  • Hardness: Moderate scratch resistance. Rates 7 on the Mohs Hardness Scale.
  • Toughness: Good resistance to chipping and breaking.
  • Stability: Might fade if exposed to intense light (like direct sun) for a long time. Otherwise, no routine concerns for gem owners.
  • Cleaning: Liquid cleaner, or detergent and water. Ultrasonic is usually safe, unless noticeable clarity characteristics are present.

 

 

 

 

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