Looking into the rich, lustrous depths of an amethyst makes it very easy to understand why this gem was considered to be as valuable as an emerald or ruby in ancient times. Because of its wine-like colour, early Greek legends associated amethyst with Bacchus, the god of wine and it was believed that wearing amethyst prevented drunkenness. Other legends reflected the belief that amethyst kept its wearer clear-headed and quick-witted in battle and in business affairs.
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 colour of amethyst can vary from lilac, pale purple, lavender, through to deep mauve and pinky purple. Vividly coloured amethysts have come from the old mines of Siberia, Brazil and Ceylon.
Natural amethyst has been held in high regard and has been seen as a symbol of power over the centuries, featured in both Crown Jewels and Bishop’s Stirrup rings during the Medieval period. Bishop rings were usually made of gold with an amethyst stone. The symbolism of colours in Christian jewellery of that time was highly significant. Amethyst’s purple colour symbolised penitence and is the liturgical colour for the seasons of Lent and Advent.
Amethyst was a popular jewel in the Victorian period of romance and sentimentality, during which time fine amethysts were set into necklaces, earrings and brooches.
During the Art Deco period, amethyst set into cocktail rings, necklaces, bracelets, brooches, adding a colour most desired.
Celebrated jewellery houses such as Cartier, Tiffany and Bulgari known for their fabulous colour combinations, have always valued amethyst, so it is no surprise that this gemstone was regularly combined with emeralds, turquoise or garnets to magnificent effect.
Amethyst is the birthstone for February and the gem for the 6th and 17th wedding anniversaries. Treat yourself, your family and friends with truly unique antique or vintage pieces of jewellery from Berganza!