If you’re looking for a unique and memorable gift for the special girl in your life, then an amethyst ring is a beautiful option worthy of consideration. Large, wonderful amethysts are often found on antique cocktail rings, which gives them a delightful antiquated yet fashionable look, they truly are a splendorous gift that any discerning lady would appreciate.
Amethysts Through History
One of the first cultures recorded as having a love affair with flawless purple amethysts was the ancient Greeks. The Greeks related these gemstones with the wine god, Bacchus, which is perhaps unsurprising, given the gemstones colouring is similar to a grape. They Greeks allegedly wore the crystal in order to protect themselves from becoming inebriated, how successful this ploy was is somewhat debatable. This belief leads to the name of the gemstone we have now, in ancient Greece “amethystos” translates into “not intoxicated”, which might suggest their theory at least worked on the psychological level. As per the legendary properties, an amethyst gem is said to keep the wearer fully lucid and smart. Artist, inventor and all-around smart guy Leonardo da Vinci believed that amethysts are able to improve knowledge retention and protect you from less than desirable thoughts.
Looking into Greek Mythology, Amethyst was a young, playful virgin who became a victim of the Greek God Dionysus’s red wine induced drunken antics. Amethyst is said to have appealed and shouted for help from the Goddess Diana. The goddess obviously thought the appropriate response to an appeal to help was to turn the young lady into a white, opalescent quartz stone (who knows how Greek gods minds work). Once Dionysus sobered up, he regretted his inebriated behaviour and cried. The god’s tears streamed into his cup of red wine, which upended, pouring teary salty wine all over the white quartz crystal, turning it into a purple gemstone which we now know as Amethysts. I’m not sure what the life lesson for this tale is, I suspect it doesn’t bother Greek gods when they are drinking, or when they are sober.
Amethyst crystals have been incorporated into a host of royal collections throughout the world, from the ancient Egyptians, through to the British royal families gems. The Smithsonian institution is said to have acquired an Amethyst in excess of a whopping 200kg. There is evidence that suggests that ancient societies favoured this gemstone above all other precious jewels. Currently, this stone is seeing a resurgence of popularity, equalling that of rubies and sapphires.
Amethyst Ring Buying Guide
In centuries past, an amethyst would only be in financial reach of the nobility. Nowadays, the story is somewhat different, the gem is incredibly popular and accessible, owing in part to the cost of the stone, but also due to its enduring aesthetic appeal. What makes the amethyst stand out against its gemstone piers is the fact that the stones cost does not exponentially increase as the carat value of the stone goes up, for example a 2ct amethyst will most often cost twice as much as a 1ct amethyst, while the same cannot be said for a ruby or diamond. Instead, the value of an amethyst depends largely on its shading. It’s worth noting that there is no internationally recognised grading system, so it’s vital to understand what to look for when buying an amethyst ring.
Amethyst colours can vary greatly from gemstone to gemstone, ranging from a deep rich crimson-purple through to pale lilac. Additionally, the clarity can range from crystal clear to a translucent quartz. Most jewellery makers prefer a rosy purple to subdued purple, as long as the gem’s brilliance is not adversely affected. In extreme cases, an extremely dark and dim gem may look black, which of course has its own appeal.
The ‘ideal’ amethyst would be a deeply set purple shade, with negligible or non-existent shading edging. The stone will look positively brilliant in natural sunlight, possibly less so under synthetic lighting. The rich purple hue will be strikingly vibrant, taking on an opulent purple which might be accompanied by flashes of rose colouring. An amethyst with a light shading or which has areas of light or subdued purple hues is intrinsically less valuable. Perhaps the most sought-after and valuable amethyst originate from Siberia, these gems are often deeply purpled with brilliant flashes of red and blue.
Lustre and Lucidity
Amethysts are classified as a type 2 gemstone. A type 2 gemstone would generally expect to have a couple of incorporations and are most often no ‘eye clean’. This means that a jewellery quality gem could be expected to have some incorporations which are visible to the naked eye, having said that there’s a good chance an untrained eye would be unable to notice such flaws. An ‘eye clean’ gem is of course generally speaking worth more than a similarly shaded gem which includes incorporations.
Amethysts with profound eye noticeable flaws, but with beautiful shading are not discarded, these will often find their way into jewellery as beads or cabochons. Such beads and cabochons with brilliant shading and lucidity can fetch a premium price tag at a market. On occasions, an amethyst may undergo crack repairing treatment in order to increase the gem’s value and lucidity.
Just like other gemstones, amethysts can be cut into a range of shapes and designs. For example, ovals, circles, emerald cuts, cushions, pears, triangles and much more besides. Designs are dictated by fashions and changing tastes over time, however, triangular and kite shaped designs, which are also known as splendid cuts, are increasingly popular choices. The preferred cut or shape is, of course, a very personal choice, there is no right or wrong option.
Gem Carat Weight
Amethysts come in a range of sizes and weights, and are particularly well suited for large centre stones since the value of the stone does not increase dramatically increase as the size of the stone increased. Most amethyst jewellery purchased will be found in adjusted cuts, this basically means the gems are cut to industry sizes.
An amethyst ring can be cleaned with warmed water and a very mild cleaning agent, a soft bristled brush can then be used to clean any nooks and crannies. After cleaning, the ring should be gently patted dry and allowed to air dry thoroughly before being stored or worn. Alternatively, the ring may also be cleaned in an ultrasonic cleaner. Please bear in mind that amethyst rings should not be exposed to direct sunlight for any length of time, the sun will have a bleaching effect over time, causing the purple colouring to pale. You should never heat the ring excessively or use a steam cleaner.
Amethyst Ring Conclusion
If you don’t have the budget for a natural amethyst ring, you can opt for a manufactured gemstone instead. It’s worth keeping in mind that a manufactured amethyst will rarely have the same reflective qualities or deeply engrained hues that are possible in a natural stone. Any manufactured stone should be labelled as such, so it should be relatively straightforward to easily identify a natural stone from a lab-made variant. The majority of natural stones originate from Brazil, Austria, Russia, Zambia and South Korea.
Some jewellers may work to enhance the shade of an amethyst with what’s called warmth treatment. This can in some circumstances turn the stone slightly yellow, brown, red, uncoloured or occasionally green. If the stone is no longer purple, then this process might be the cause.
If you want a wonderfully unique and fashionable ring, then choose an amethyst ring.
Last update on 2019-02-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API