February’s birthstone is amethyst
Amethyst is a violet variety of quartz, with tones ranging from light pink to deep purple. Higher concentration of purple in the stone is rare, the most expensive version of amethyst is referred to as Deep Russian and is highly sought after by collectors.
Amethyst can be found in a number of worldwide locations, an uncommon trait in gemstones. It can be found in central and south America, with famous deposits in Brazil and Uruguay. It is also found in India, Russia and South Korea. It is widely distibuted in the United States & Canada, with sources in Arizona, Texas & Pennsylvania. The largest amethyst mine in North American is in Thunder Bay, Ontario.
As a gemstone, amethyst has been revered by ancient cultures across the globe, from Egypt to Greece, with many myth and traditions associated with it. It takes its name from the Greek word amethystos which can be translated as not drunken. As such, amethyst was considered to be a strong antidote against drunkeness and wine goblets were often carved from it.
In Greek mythology Dionysus, the god of intoxication, wine & grapes was pursuing a maiden named Amethystos, who refused his affections. Amethystos prayed to the gods to remain chaste, a prayer which the goddess Artemis answered, transforming her into white stone. Humbled by Amethystos's desire to remain chaste, Dionysus poured wine over the stone as an offering, dyeing the crystals purple.
From ancient Egypt right up until the renaissance period, amethyst was often featured in intaglio engraved gems. This precusor to cameo jewellery were collection of gemstones with intricate friezes carved on their surfaces.
Argento source much of its amethyst from South America & India. We have worked with these family-run mines and refineries since our inception and find the quality of both their gems and their work to be exceptional. By working directly with these artisans, we can offer an unrivalled collection of amethyst at highly competitive prices.
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