A ring set with a natural unenhanced fine amethyst of an intense rich purple is one to be truly admired. The most valuable amethysts are prized for their depth of continual colour, a velvety richness of purple with a hint of blue. The most esteemed member of the quartz family, the colour of this gemstone can vary from lilac, pale purple, lavender, through to deep mauve and pinky purple. They are mined in many locations throughout the world, with the very best vividly coloured amethysts coming from the old mines of Siberia, Brazil and Sri Lanka. It is a gemstone which can be fashioned into a variety of faceted shapes and rounded to domed cabochons, showcasing the colour to the best effect.
Natural amethyst has been held in high regard since the time of the ancient Greeks and has been seen as a symbol of power over the centuries, featured in the crown jewels of Britain and Russia. The symbolism of particular colours in Christian jewellery during the medieval period was highly significant- amethyst’s purple colour symbolised penitence and is the liturgical colour for the seasons of Lent and Advent, so it is no surprise that Bishop’s rings often showcase a fine amethyst.
It was a popular jewel in the Victorian period of romance and sentimentality with heart shape amethyst set jewellery being fashionable as love tokens and was often used as a dash of colour set in memorial rings. Amethysts are also seen in Suffragette jewellery, with purple being a colour of this movement. Queen Alexandra loved the colour and so they continued to be favoured in the Edwardian period. Further to this, amethyst was set into cocktail rings, necklaces, bracelets, brooches and engagement rings throughout the twentieth century, adding a colour most desired.
Amethyst has played an important role in jewellery spanning the centuries. Find the perfect amethyst ring in our collection of antique and vintage jewellery.