Quartz is abundant, but the most desired variety is the purple gemstone found in amethyst jewelry. It is named after an incident involving Bacchus, the God of Wine, a young maiden named Amethyst and some tigers. Intriguing right? Another interesting bit about the name is that it comes from the Greek word “amethystos” meaning “not drunk.” Ironic, since Bacchus was the God of Wine!
If you were born in February, you know you get the amethyst birthstone. But, did you also know that it celebrates the 4th, 6th and 17th wedding anniversaries? Who really needs an excuse to buy or wear the beautiful shades of purple? Many of these have even been heat-treated to deepen the purple colors. Heated enough, and the amethyst will turn yellow and you have a citrine.
Today’s stones likely come from Brazil or Zambia where gems of all sizes are mined to produce amethyst earrings and other pieces. The various shades of purple are determined by the amount of iron in the earth.
Because it is quartz, amethyst is a durable stone and you can easily clean it with warm soapy water. But, they are also commonly heat-treated to enhance the colors so don’t clean using extreme temperatures. That means no ultrasonic machine or steamer.
A clear faceted stone shimmers in the light and adds drama to an evening gown, but it can also be dressed down with jeans and a top. For the unique girl, a cat’s eye cabochon amethyst ring is perfect. Whatever the cut, whatever the setting, the amethyst enjoys mythological popularity!
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