Amethyst for February: Augustine Jewels presents our Favourite Valentine's Stone
Posted by Alexandra Robson on January 19, 2018 0 Comments
Many of us associate Valentine’s Day with the colour red…red roses, little heart-shaped chocolates wrapped in red foil (in a red box), chocolate covered strawberries…so you’d be forgiven for only thinking about red gemstones in the run up to February. However, we at Augustine Jewels would like to offer an alternative to the rubies and garnets soon to be basking in the lime light. Ladies and gentlemen, we give you February’s regal birthstone and the zodiac gem for the constellation of Pisces: The Amethyst.
Amethyst is most famous for its gorgeous purple colour, a colour that has long been a symbol for royalty. Worn by royals across the globe and throughout centuries, it’s purple hue has also earned Amethyst the title ‘Jewel of the Gods’. But where does this purple come from? Well, it depends who you ask...
According to myth and legend, amethyst is purple due to Bacchus’ lusty pursuit of the nymph, Amethyst. The god of wine and intoxication was so enchanted by the playful nymph that he chased her relentlessly through the forest. Exasperated by his unwelcome advances, Amethyst called out for help to the goddess Diana, who turned her to crystal. Furious, Bacchus threw his glass of wine onto Amethyst, turning her purple. Amethyst has therefore become a totem for sobriety. And so, ‘Amethystos’, from which amethyst is derived, is the Greek word for ‘not intoxicated’. The ancients went so far as to carve drinking vessels from the stone.
Science, on the other hand, explains that amethyst owes its violet colour to iron impurities, irradiation and the presence of trace elements resulting in complex crystal lattice substitutions. We at Augustine Jewels prefer the ancients’ reasoning as we think the legend captures the magic of the stone, don’t you? But perhaps you can’t remember the last time you saw an amethyst or, maybe you’ve never seen one in the flesh? Worry not! We are the proud custodians of a number of amethyst pieces… why not pop in to our London Flagship Store and try on our Amethyst Briolette and Diamond Drop Earrings? Or perhaps you would prefer our elegant ‘green amethyst’ featured in our South of France Collection? (N.B. Amethyst is sometimes heated naturally in the ground, resulting in prasiolite, affectionately known as ‘green amethyst’).
Despite its ‘magical’ properties, amethyst is not indestructible and should be treated with care. Amethyst scores a 7/10 on the Mohs scale, ranking below Diamond, Corundum and Topaz. It is suitable for all jewellery types as long as the wearer understands the limits of its hardness – precautions should be taken to prevent scratching. Abrupt changes in temperature may cause amethyst to fracture and colour can fade in prolonged exposure to intense light.
What do you think? Is amethyst the quirky alternative to red stones for Valentine’s Day? It’s a firm “Yes” from us at Augustine Jewels.