Amethyst Engagement Rings

- The Complete Guide

1. Introduction

 

A royal gemstone with an aura of luxury and tradition, amethyst has been a popular choice among emperors and monarchs since ancient times. Regarded as the most popular purple color gemstone in the world, the word Amethyst is derived from a Greek word “amethustos”, which translates to being sober. Anciently, amethysts were known to be used to protect against drunkenness and other sicknesses.

 

Known as the chief member of the quartz family, Amethyst is the aubergine cousin to varieties like Citrine, Prasiolite and Rose Quartz.

2. Meaning

 

Gathering information from writings, books and folklore, it is believed that Amethyst not only promotes serenity, peace & relaxation but also adds a sense of personality and charisma that lures people towards its charm.


It is also believed that ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans valued purple amethyst to guard them against negative influences.

3. Mythology

 

It was believed that if a person drank from a cup or goblet made entirely of amethyst, it could prevent them from becoming drunk.


In Greek mythology, amethyst was rock crystal dyed purple by the tears of Dionysus, the god of wine and revelry.


In Renaissance magic, an amethyst engraved with the image of a bear was worn as a protective amulet and in Graeco-Roman times, rings of amethyst set in bronze were worn as charms against evil.

 

It was also believed that if an Amethyst is placed beneath a pillow or worn to bed, then it would produce peaceful sleep with pleasant, healing, and often prophetic dreams.

 

4. Origin

 

Colored by the element Iron, in combination with Silicon Oxide, the elements that make up quartz, amethyst has been a popular gemstone for generations. Mined historically in Russia, fine colored amethyst was a rare gem, until the discovery of the mines in South America and Africa.


Brazil is a popular source that produces over 70% of the amethyst today. However, most of the amethyst from Brazil is usually in lighter and pale color. A few exceptional pieces from the Uruguay region do come bursting with the intense colors as seen in an orchid.


On the other hand, mines in the region of Africa produces the most vividly colored amethysts. Zambia, a rich geological hub unearths amethysts that are immersed with deep hues to the likes of velvet. Coupled with immense saturation these amethysts evolve into some of the most spectacular purple gems known, demanding high values.

African Amethyst

 

  • Deeper purples with desirable color but high inclusions
  • Ideal choice for engagement rings
  • Gem with even tone and saturation that radiates an internal brilliance

 

Brazilian Amethyst

 

  • Lighter and paler color but less inclusions
  • Used popularly in less valuable jewelry items
  • Gem with paler colors that add brilliance but less color burst

 

 

Although mined in a constant supply from Zambia and Brazil, countries like Madagascar and Tanzania also unearth these royal gems.

 

 

DID YOU KNOW

 

Amethysts are also mined from natural occurring Geodes that contain a selection of varieties like rock crystal and chalcedony within. A mineral rich cavity, that crystallises over time to forms an enclosure that can extent to extremely large sizes. These gemstone-lined cavities are cut up to reveal its mystical being.

5. Physical Properties

 

Mineral Family Quartz
Varieties (Family Members) Prasiolite, Ametrine, Citrine, Rose Quartz, Smoky Quartz
Refractive Index 1.544 – 1.553
Colors Various shades of purple and violet
Luster Vitreous
Hardness 7 on the Mohs Scale
Toughness Good
Heat Sensitivity No
Wearability Very Good
Transparency Transparent to Opaque
Popular Shapes Oval, Round, Cushion, Pear & Emerald
Popular Sizes 2.00 Carats ~ 3.50 Carats

6. Noteworthy Amethysts

Morris Amethyst Brooch

Possibly one of the most vividly colored, a 96-carat heart shaped amethyst beautifully rests in the Morris Brooch. Mined in Brazil this brooch now rests at the Smithsonian Museum representing richness and was crafted in platinum and diamonds. A gift of Mrs Morris, this piece has intricately carved with designs in the metal that indicate it was fabricated during the Edwardian era.

 

 

Queen Josephine Amethyst Tiara

Once owned by French Empress Josephine, this tiara was originally a necklace given as a wedding gift to her daughter-in-law, the Duchess of Leuchtenberg. It later made its way to Sweden and got converted into a tiara in last few decades.

7. Buying an Amethyst Engagement Ring

 

Proposing with a purple amethyst engagement ring can be a perfect choice for couples seeking a birthstone engagement ring or among couples who love the deep rich color denoting luxury, glamour & tradition.

 

Choosing a vivid colored amethyst wisely will complement the custom setting and make the ring stand out and shine in brilliance.

 

Color

Fine quality amethyst comes in a deep violetish purple to a reddish purple and can fall in any color in-between.

Frequently spotted with color bands, amethysts are best analysed when placed table down upon a white sheet of paper. Color banding that can add a radiant color throughout can also in turn drop the color thereby dropping the gems value.

At Nolan and Vada, we handpick and ethically source vivid colored purple amethysts from the mines in Africa.

 

 

Cut

Amethyst is popularly cut in various shapes such as round, oval, cushion, emerald and pear. Irrespective of shape, it is important to choose an amethyst with symmetrical cuts in order to bring out it’s shine and brilliance.

Cut plays an important role for an amethyst because of the gems innate transparency. A cutter must facet it with precision in terms of height and number of facets to add the perfect blend of brilliance. This helps to keep away from a window, which would let light and color escape.

 

Clarity

Rich and deep colored purple amethyst from region of Africa tends to be included with inclusions as compared to pale colored amethysts from Brazil.

Since eye clean amethyst is available in good quantity, you should not compromise on clarity. At Nolan and Vada, we hand pick amethyst high in clarity where inclusions are not visible to naked eye (eye-clean)

 

Carat

Being a slightly denser gemstone than diamonds, a Quartz similar to a size of diamond can weigh more. For example, an approximate 1.10 carat Quartz will visually look similar in size to a 1.00 carat diamond.

Popular size in carat weights for engagement rings among amethyst fall under 2.00 carats ~ 3.50 carats

8. Enhancements

An acceptable and oldest trade practice of heating gemstones is often used in amethysts to lighten its deep brownish colors. Since the enhancement is quite a common practice in the industry, it is safe to assume that that most amethyst in the market are heated to some extent.

9. Certification

In recent times, there have been many discoveries where amethysts are found to be synthetic Quartz constructed by hydrothermal methods.

 

At Nolan and Vada, we only sell 100% natural gemstones and for your peace of mind, every order comes with a complementary lab report and an insurance appraisal from a well-qualified & independent jewellery valuer accredited by Jewellery Valuers Society Inc. (JVS)

10. Care

Amethyst rates 7 on the Mohs scale of hardness and is considered to be durable and scratch-resistant enough for daily wear. However, like any other gemstone ring, it must be loved and cared in order to last for generations.

 

One of the most efficient, safe and effective method to clean your amethyst engagement rings is in warm soapy water

 

  • Take a bowl of warm water with a dash of mild soap and a soft bristled toothbrush.

 

  • Gently scrub away the dirt and grime from the hard to reach spots.

 

  • Rinse and pat your ring dry with a soft lint free cloth.

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