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All you need to know about the amethyst, February’s purple gemstone

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The amethyst is a precious stone fit for a queen.

Say “amethyst” and most people will think of a jagged, purple rock, one of the many crystals that modern mystics claim to have healing properties. Yet there was a time when the amethyst, which is also February’s birthstone, was seen to be just as valuable as diamonds, rubies and sapphires. Purple, after all, is a colour associated with royalty. That and its rarity made the amethyst a highly esteemed gemstone; it frequently featured in the jewels worn by kings and queens, as well as other powerful figures like the Pope.

That is, until the early 19th century, when vast deposits of the violet treasure were discovered in Brazil. Now a common crystal, the amethyst’s value is mostly determined by its hues, which is also what sets it apart from other minerals of the quartz family.

Depending on the presence of iron or the effects of irradiation, the amethyst can come in quite a range of colours, from pinkish lavender to deep purple. The most prized among them is a strong purple hue with red undertones, which you’ll find mostly in the finest jewellery creations.

Cartier bib necklace in diamond, amethyst, turquoise and gold (1947) (Photo credit: Nick Welsh, courtesy of Cartier)

In 1947, for example, Cartier famously designed an extravagant bib necklace for the Duchess of Windsor that heavily featured the amethyst — including a large, heart-shaped one at the centre of it. The purple gem is also a favourite of Bulgari; the Italian jeweller often incorporates it into its bold designs, such as its Serpenti watches.

It’s clear that the amethyst is still highly regarded by some of the biggest luxury brands today. Below, we spotlight some jewellery brands that have taken artistic liberties with the gemstone, producing marvellous jewels that would make a perfect gift for those born in February.

Header photo credit: Dior

This article first appeared on Lifestyle Asia Singapore.

The post All you need to know about the amethyst, February’s purple gemstone appeared first on Lifestyle Asia Kuala Lumpur.

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