Amethyst is one of the most popular gemstones due to its reasonable price and its ability to take a lot of rough wear without damage. Most amethyst will be free of inclusions but do not reject a stone of fine color due to minor inclusions. As long as these do not take away from the beauty of the stone they should not cause you to reject the stone if the color is very fine.
Amethyst of lighter colors should be rather inexpensive. The most expensive will be the dark purple stones that show a red flash effect when rotated under a direct light source. These are rather rare and that rarity will reflect itself in higher prices per carat.
Amethyst gemstones should be cut to very fine proportions. The stone should have even facets and very fine polish. Amethysts generally occur in well formed crystals which makes cutting much easier. Set in yellow gold, enhanced by diamonds or pearls, it is stunning!
Purple has long been considered a royal color so it is not surprising that amethyst has been so much in demand during history. Fine amethysts are featured in the British Crown Jewels and were also a favorite of Catherine the Great and Egyptian royalty. Amethyst, transparent purple quartz, is the most important quartz variety used in jewelry.
Leonardo Da Vinci wrote that amethyst was able to dissipate evil thoughts and quicken the intelligence.
Because amethyst was thought to encourage celibacy and symbolize piety, amethyst was very important in the ornamentation of Catholic and other churches in the Middle Ages. It was, in particular, considered to be the stone of bishops and bishops still often wear amethyst rings.
The Greek work “amethystos” basically can be translated as “not drunken.” Amethyst was considered to be a strong antidote against drunkenness, which is why wine goblets were often carved from it! The gemstone still symbolizes sobriety.
The legend of the origin of amethyst comes from Greek myths. Dionysus, the god of intoxication, was angered one day by an insult from a mere mortal and swore revenge on the next mortal that crossed his path, creating fierce tigers to carry out his wish.
Along came unsuspecting Amethyst, a beautiful young maiden on her way to pay tribute to the goddess Diana. Diana turned Amethyst into a stature of pure crystalline quartz to protect her from the brutal claws. Dionysus wept tears of wine in remorse for his action at the sight of the beautiful statue. The god’s tears stained the quartz purple, creating the gem we know today.