About Amethysts

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About amethysts and some jewelry terms

About amethysts Most all of the jewelry I own is amethyst jewelry. I have some really pretty genuine amethyst jewelry, purple crystal jewelry and a variety of other jewelry in different shades of purple. Often I’ll combine them and think they all look really pretty together. I thought I’d share with you below a little of what I already knew about amethysts and some new information I learned while making this site.

Definition of amethyst and where it can be found

A purple or bluish violet form of transparent quartz used as a gemstone. A purple variety of corundum is used as a gemstone. It’s valued as a semiprecious gem for it’s violet color. The color is due to it containing a little more iron oxide than any other variety of quartz. Heating removes that color, changing it to citrine. Notable deposits of amethysts are found in Brazil, North Carolina, Ontario and Uruguay.

Thoughts about amethyst throughout history
Amethyst is the birthstone for February and the gemstone for the 6th year’s wedding anniversary. In Tibet, amethyst is considered to be sacred to the Buddha, rosaries are often made with it and bishops in the Catholic church often wear amethyst rings. Amethyst has also been a favorite of royalty.

Leonardo Di Vinci said that an amethyst gets rid of evil thoughts and brings forward intelligence. Hmm, so wearing my amethyst jewelry, according to him, I’ll become smarter. Legend of the origin of amethyst comes from Greek myths. Dionysius, the god of intoxication, was angered 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 the unsuspecting Amethyst, a beautiful young maiden on her way to pay tribute to the goddess Diana. Diana turned Amethyst into a statue 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.

Caring for your amethyst jewelry
Amethysts can be cleaned with warm water and a mild soap. You should use either a soft brush or cloth to gently clean them. Afterwards, wipe them dry with a soft cloth. You definitely don’t want to use hot water or expose it to any type of intense heat source , since that can change the color of an amethyst.

Other purple jewelry
Other jewelry that can be purple includes alexandrite, charoite, corundum, purple diamonds, purple garnet, iolite, jadeite (lavender jade), purple jasper, kunzite, morganite, obsidian, purple opal, rhodolite, purple sapphire, purple scapolite, purple spinel, sugilite, tanzanite, purple topaz, purple tourmaline, purple turquoise jewelry and others. You can also find quite a lot of purple crystal jewelry and cubic zirconia jewelery in various shades of purple.

Some jewelry terms
Alloy – a mixture of two or more metals
Arabesque – type of design that has branches, floral forms, flowing lines, leaves and scrollwork that’s symmetrical in form.

Baguette – cut in the shape of a narrow rectangle
Bangle – a non-flexible bracelet
Baroque – an irregular shaped stone or pearl
Bezel – metal rim that holds and surrounds a gemstone or the metal rim that surrounds a watch dial
Brilliance – amount of light a gem reflects
Brilliant cut – considered to have the most brilliance of all cuts. Is most often used for diamonds and consists of 58 facets. Types of brilliant cuts include heart, oval, marquise, pear and round cut.
Briolette – teardrop shape with facets all around it. Nice choice for earrings or a pendant.

Cabochon — a gemstone that’s unfaceted and instead is shaped and polished.
Carat — used for measuring gemstones and pearls. One carat is equivalent to 200 milligrams.
Channel setting — the  type of setting that’s used most frequently for wedding and anniversary bands. Stones are set right next to each other with no metal separating them.
Clarity – a gem’s rating based upon the number of flaws or imperfections it has. Clarity is designated by letters. The letter F means it is flawless. IF indicates internally flawless with slight blemishes. VVSI indicates very, very slightly included. VSI indicates very slightly included. SI indicates slightly included. I indicate included. This category has flaws visible to the naked eye.
Cloisonné – a technique for decorating metalwork objects. In the olden days, it had to do with inlays of cut gemstones, glass and other materials. Recently, it’s decorative enamelwork where colored areas are separated by thin metal bands.

Cubic zirconia, or often referred to as cz, is a simulated diamond. When they were first made they were clear, but today they come in a lot of different colors. Lavender cz jewelry is definitely a favorite of mine. Cz jewelry looks quite similar to diamonds and has many similarities. They are a little softer but will weigh more than a diamond and are able to be cut into different shapes, like a diamond is.
Cushion cut – square or rectangular shape that has rounded corners.

Facet – a flat surface ground or cut and polished on the surface of a gemstone. Gemstones commonly have facets cut into them to improve their appearance by allowing them to reflect light.
Freshwater pearl – pearls found in river mussels.

Gold – an easy guide to remember when selecting gold jewelry. The lower the karat weight the more copper or silver it will contain and the higher the karat weight, the softer the gold is. Pure gold is 24 karat. Others are 22k, 18k, 14k and 10k. I own a little bit of 18k jewelry and love it. It is definitely softer or maybe delicate might be a better way to describe it than 10k or 14k gold. When wearing it you should keep that in mind. For example, you wouldn’t want to wear it if you were playing football.
Gold plated – coating of a base metal with gold.
Gold vermeil – thin layer of gold over sterling silver.

Hallmarking – marks stamped on gold, silver or platinum by assay offices after the metal has been tested and determined to contain the proper amount of precious metals required by law. It is done in England and Ireland.
Halo – very popular style ring that has smaller diamonds encircling the center stone. Is usually in reference to a diamond ring, but it can be any stone.

Inclusion – flaws that are inside of a gem.

Karat, or sometimes just written as K – refers to the percentage of gold in jewelry. Items labeled 18K, 14K, or 10K contain gold mixed with another metal, and items falling below 10K cannot be called gold. 24K indicates 100 percent gold; also referred to as solid gold. 18K indicates 75 percent gold. 14K indicates 58.3 percent gold. 10K indicates 41.7 percent gold.
Marquise cut – A type of gem cut in the shape of a pointed oval that usually has 58 facets.  

Pave setting – type of setting where the entire surface of a jewel is covered or paved with closely set stones.

Rhodium – hard and silvery white in color. It’s a durable metal that’s a member of the platinum family. It is often electroplated to sterling silver or white gold to add extra shine.
Rose gold – gold with a rosy blush that comes from a gold and copper alloy.

Solitaire — A single diamond or gemstone set by itself in a mounting
Sterling Silver – is an alloy of 92.5% silver and 7.5% other metals. Copper, nickel or zinc are the other metals. Fine silver (99%) is too soft, so sterling silver is used for making jewelry.

Tanzanite – is a blue/violet variety of the mineral zoisite.
Trillion  – triangular shaped

Vermeil – a combination of sterling silver, gold, and other precious metals. A common example is silver that’s gold plated.

White gold – refers to an alloy of gold and other metals such as nickel, palladium or silver. It’s natural color is light gray and slightly yellow, so most times it is coated in rhodium, giving it a shine.

*Some of this information came from eBay, Webster’s dictionary and Wikipedia websites.