By Chelsea Reed
The regal violet colors of amethyst are sought after by both the experienced and new collector. Amethyst is the birthstone for February... the 33rd wedding anniversary stone... and a common semiprecious gemstone in today’s market. But what if we told you that the amethyst was once an extremely rare jewel? It was so rare, in fact, that only royalty were allowed to wear it!
And so begins the secret tale of how amethyst became a favorite gem among royal societies...
It only takes one look at an amethyst to appreciate its striking beauty. Even in the Stone Age, people figured out how special it was. In ancient Egypt, amethyst was a personal adornment for the Pharaohs and their families. Important hieroglyphics carved at an abandoned Egyptian amethyst mine were discovered last year! Scientists are still researching, but it appears the mine was guarded by Egyptian soldiers while it was in service.
Amethyst’s rich purple color continued to be popular with the elite in Medieval European countries. Because purple is a rare color to produce in nature, it's often associated with royalty. It was against the law in England for any commoner to wear amethyst jewelry. Only the royal family and nobility were allowed! A large amethyst stone is set in the British Crown Jewels today, and amethyst was a favorite gemstone for King Edward VII’s wife to wear.
Amethyst’s exclusivity would change, however, with one remarkable discovery…
Amethyst’s rarity came to an end when vast deposits of the stone were discovered by settlers in 19th century Brazil. It’s accessible to everyone now, and its beautiful color continues to be popular. Modern European royals continue the tradition of wearing amethyst. French jeweler Cartier crafted an elaborate amethyst and turquoise necklace in 1947 for the famed Duchess of Windsor, Wallis Simpson. And Queen Silvia of Sweden’s tiara is made with 15 large amethyst stones from the French Empress Josephine!
Would you like to own a piece of amethyst, crown gem of royalty? You'll feel like a king or queen with our unique amethyst specimens! They're available at Michael’s Gems and Glass in store or online at your convenience.
Chelsea Reed is a copywriter who writes online content, articles, blogs, and websites from her base in North Carolina.
Our glass suncatchers at Michael’s Gems and Glass are gorgeous by themselves as decorative accents. Known as the visual equivalent to wind chimes, the jewellike look of glass suncatchers is a beautiful addition for any home.