The deep thinking February baby is well-matched by the deep hued Amethyst, a stone that is getting quite a reincarnation in modern times!
By: Smitha Sadanandan
Posted on: Febuary 24, 2021
Amethyst - the birthstone of February - is a gem most commonly associated with the colour purple. The regal stone owes its name to the Greek word ‘amethystos,’ which means ‘a remedy against drunkenness.’ Its wine-like colour prompted early Greek legends to associate the stone with the god of wine – Bacchus. According to popular beliefs, amethyst was also believed “to keep the wearer clear headed and quick witted in battle and business affairs.”
Wallis Simpson in the Cartier Amethyst Bib Necklace
Victorian jewellery saw abundant use of amethysts. Religious jewels, tiaras and parures often used the luxurious hued gem in exuberant ways. Catherine the Great (Empress Catherine II of Russia) had a penchant for the precious gem with her necklaces, earrings and other ornaments set with amethyst, while Wallis Simpson, Duchess of Windsor, is said to have made a memorable statement donning a lavish Cartier-designed amethyst bib necklace to a gala in Versailles in 1953.
Russia, for several years, was the major source of amethyst. It was during this time that the stone inhabited the rarefied space alongside ruby and emerald. The discovery of large deposits of amethyst in Brazil and later Africa, the Anahí mine in Bolivia – a source of unusual bicoloured amethyst-citrine crystals called ametrine – and USA, among others, led to the fall of the gem. It was no longer as precious as the ruby or emerald.
Amethyst is the purple variety of the quartz mineral species. Designers have been giving jewellery an exciting twist with amethysts, a gem whose purple colour ranges from a light lilac to a deep, intense royal purple and from brownish to vivid. The gem commonly shows what is called colour zoning, featuring angular zones of darker to lighter colour.
The pandemic has reinforced the love for coloured stones and meaningful jewellery. Birthstone jewels acquire so much more meaning during these unsettling times. If you celebrate a February birthday, wearing an amethyst can be a symbol of personal empowerment and inner strength.
Here are some of our favourites:
1. Bea Bongiasca
Join the ear party with Bea Bongiasca’s Flower Funk earrings accented in Japanese orange enamel. The Lucky Flower earrings in 9k yellow gold and silver features octagon cut amethysts.
2. Fawaz Gruosi
The former founder of de Grisogono, Fawaz Gruosi launched his namesake brand and flagship store in London in December 2020. Mr. Gruosi draws on his love of colour and bold shapes for this statement 18k rose gold ring encrusted with brilliant-cut amethysts, with green jade lending a contrast to the colour palette.
Head into 2021 with this purple titanium ring by Graziela accented with white diamonds, amethyst and sapphires. The titanium ring is an edgy jewel perfect for fashion-forward wearers.
4. John Hardy
John Hardy’s prismatic violet amethysts punctuate the sterling silver earrings, suspended with shimmering teardrops of sapphire, tourmaline and rhodolite. Balinese for ‘glowing’, the Cahaya collection is a limited-edition series that emphasizes rare stones of transformative luminosity.
5. Shaun Leane
The fluid contours and vibrant combinations of micro‐set rubies and sumptuous pear-shaped amethyst create harmony in Shaun Leane’s Aurora ring.
A talismanic inspiration, Ananya’s Nazar c-clip earrings in white gold are adorned with white and black diamonds and cabochon amethysts. A glamorous addition to your cocktail wardrobe.
7. Yael Sonia
Set your wrist in motion with Yael Sonia’s Spinning Wheel bracelet in 18k matte yellow gold, encasing custom-cut amethyst spheres. Pale hued gems spinning inside the bracelet make it a perfect accessory for when you are in the mood to shake things up.
Add a pop of glamour with Boghossian’s Merveilles Icicle in amethyst set on rose gold. The ‘Merveilles Icicle’, with its modern elongated shape, is a jewel of contemporary understated elegance – the mounting allows the precious stones to be set on all four sides, on a nearly invisible metal frame.
Bvlgari’s Olive bracelet from its Festa collection (launched in 2017) celebrates the olive harvest with an abundance of peridots, amethysts and tourmalines surrounded by diamonds to imitate an olive branch that curls around the wrist.