AMETHYST, Untreated
The oldest of gemstones used by mankind,
amethyst was believed by the ancient Greeks to be a protection against drunkenness.

Amethyst was considered by the ancient Greeks to be a talisman that could prevent drunkenness. It occurs in a wide range of tones from deep purple to light lavender. Amethyst is purple quartz, and it is the most valuable of all the varieties of quartz. It is also the oldest of gemstones to be used by mankind. In Europe, personal adornments containing amethyst have been discovered in ruins dating back 25,000 years.

In Egypt, amethyst had been used since about 3100 B.C. in items such as beads, charms, and personal seals. It was also highly regarded by the ancient Greeks and Romans, and during the Middle Ages it decorated royal crowns and papal rings. It is recorded that the wife of King George III of England, Charlotte (1744-1818), purchased an extremely costly amethyst necklace. Since then, discovery of new mines in areas such as the Ural region of Russia, as well as increased production in Brazil, have caused prices to drop, making amethyst a gemstone that is currently affordable even in high qualities. Prices have become reasonable because even high-quality material is being mined in relatively large quantities.

The amethyst on the page to the right is a superb sample, possessing high transparency in spite of its deep purple color. Its beauty is enhanced by an expert polishing technique that takes advantage of internal refraction and external reflections, pleasing the eye with a balanced mosaic pattern of purple tones. These patches differ not only in tone, but also show a range of colors from bluish purple to reddish purple, appearing almost as if a mosaic of violet sapphires and pink rubies had been inlaid in the amethyst. It can be said that the essence of beauty in the color of a gemstone lies in this king of balanced three-dimensional mosaic pattern.

Amethyst is fashioned in a variety of styles such as cabochons, beads, carvings, and tumbled stones, in addition to faceted stones like the one seen in the photograph on the next page.

Pendant, Gold
Amethyst 1 pc
36.90 ct

Diamond 10 pcs
2.73 ct
US $25,000