by Maegan Crandall
If a jewelry box full of colorful gemstones is your desire, then consider amethyst jewelry. Amethysts bring bright purple hues to the jewelry world, making them popular in designer collections and handmade pieces. If you have a February birthday, then you'll definitely want to learn all you can about this beautiful birthstone gem.
What is amethyst?
Amethyst is a type of quartz with a hardness rating of seven on the Mohs Scale of Hardness, which makes it an ideal gem for all types of jewelry. Amethyst is found in large quantities in volcanic rocks in Brazil. It is also mined in South Korea, Austria and the United States. Gemstone jewelry featuring amethyst gemstones is valuable, but it is not prohibitively expensive.
How does amethyst get its color?
Most amethyst is purple, but it can also be green. Purple amethyst gets its color from iron. Manganese, ferric thiocyanate and sulfur may also contribute to the color of the gem. When exposed to heat inside the Earth or heat-treated after it is mined, amethyst can turn yellow or green.
How did this purple gemstone get its name?
Amethyst jewelry was popular in Ancient Greece. The Greek word "amethystos" means "not intoxicated". It was believed that Dionysus, the god of wine, created this gemstone himself by pouring wine over white stone. Goblets were often carved from amethyst in Ancient Greece.
What are my options when shopping for amethyst jewelry?
Amethysts are bold and highly saturated with color. Because it is affordable among gemstones, many styles are available. Amethysts are often set as large pendants or in cocktail rings. The beads make a lovely necklace or set of bracelets and stud earrings stand in for diamond studs when you want a punch of color. The gems can be carved, faceted or tumbled into round stones. Dramatic amethyst pendants look stunning with neutrals in the fall and winter months, while chandelier earrings perfectly accent bright spring and summer dresses.