What are Amethysts?
An amethyst is crystalline quartz in shades of purple. When heat treated in can turn to yellow and be called citrine, and it is possible to see both the yellow and purple together, this is called ametrine.
It is the birthstone for February and for the 6th year of marriage. It was thought that a stone placed in a glass would prevent drunkenness, indeed the word comes from the Greek word amethustos which means sober.
Often found in large chunks, the Smithsonian Institute has a crystal weighing 400 pounds! The Church has often used amethysts in rings and pendants as the purple colour symbolises Christ. St Valentine wore an amethyst ring carved with an image of Cupid. In ancient times amethyst was prized as highly as diamonds and that the twelfth foundation of the Holy City was built from amethyst.
According to Greek mythology Amethyst was a young virgin who became the object of wrath of the Greek God Dionysus after he became intoxicated with red wine. He turned her to white stone, but he felt remorse for what he had done and his tears dripped into his goblet of wine, and when it became full it spilled over the shimmering stone turning it purple, thus the name amethyst was created.
Victorians loved the stone and it was used extensively in jewellery and was often set with pearls into brooches, rings and pendants. We at vintagetom.co.uk have many examples of amethyst jewellery so please feel free to browse our online store