Amethyst - Pantone's colour of the year
Well, strictly speaking it's Ultra Violet, but it's pretty much the classic Amethyst colour. Rich and reminiscent of royalty, it's a colour & stone I return to again and again.
Amethyst was one of the first gemstones I started experimenting with when I started introducing semi precious stones into my designs many moons ago. I've always loved it and its fabulous purple colour. From deep, dark purple to the palest lilac.
Later on when I got more adventurous, I discovered the delicate green and pink variations of Amethyst too... Seriously dreamy pastels. Check them out - not usually as bright and immediately recognisable as their renowned purple counterpart, but the prettiest pink and gentlest green; well worth a closer look if you ever get the chance!
My petite bracelet featuring a faceted pink Amethyst focal stone on etsy:
Another more delicately coloured variant (and favourite of mine) is Ametrine. Created when Amethyst and Citrine are formed together, you see swathes of both the purple amethyst and yellow Citrine in one stone. They are both types of Quartz, and when Amethyst is heated, it can change colour and composition to become Citrine. This happens naturally in the ground as they're formed, or more recently, can be induced artificially. Treated or synthetic Ametrine is virtually indistinguishable from natural stones, even on close inspection, so they would need to be gemologically tested to distinguish how they were created.
First discovered in Brazil in the 17th Century, Ametrine seemed to lose commercial interest until the 1960s/70s when it eventually re-emerged onto the market and gained popularity again.
Bespoke bracelet as part of a custom bridal jewellery set featuring Ametrine focal stone and Amethyst accents with ivory pearls:
Society and culture have historically enjoyed the classic purple coloured Amethyst for thousands of years, and it's been used much more widely than Ametrine; Amethyst was first discovered in Europe much earlier - 3000 BC - and over the years it has picked up quite a few myths and legends along the way.
My favourite account of Amethyst's benefits was from the ancient Greeks. They believed it was able to ward off intoxication, and named it after amethystos, the Greek word for “not drunk”. They believed that you could drink all night and stay sober if you kept an Amethyst in your mouth or on your person. Call me a cynic if you like, but I wonder if this was possibly related to the need to drink more slowly and carefully so you didn't swallow the stone?!!
Either way, the Greeks weren't the only ones to believe Amethysts have special qualities.
The Ancient Egyptians set the stones into amulets for prayer and protection, and Amethysts are still considered even now in the 21st century to bring calm and balance, as well as mental clarity and peaceful dreams.
Whether you believe that Amethysts will bring any of these benefits or not, it can't be denied it is a beautiful stone that will no doubt continue to be so widely loved for many more years to come.
Earrings with freshwater pearls and amethyst (faceted and tumbled chips):