As I contemplated the writing of this month's blog on my website, I was considering how to incorporate my latest thoughts on the world along with something about jewelry. For myself, I have still not escaped the news of the world. I tune in daily, if not twice a day...to see if the world is still in one piece! As of this moment, my thoughts are that there are many pieces. Then I thought of how I love an escape from what seems to dominate our thoughts and give some education and eye candy to my readers...and I have decided to tell you about amethyst.
Here we are, the start of February. Valentine's Day is perhaps the only thing some may look forward to in this wintery month... although, the hoarfrost -- actually called "rime ice" -- that greeted us this morning here in Iowa was the most beautiful sight to behold, which might be why I decided to write about amethyst.
You might see why I was inspired when you read the following, which I copied from Wikipedia: The Greek word "amethystos" may be translated as "not drunken", or "sober". In the early days, amethyst was considered to be a strong antidote against drunkenness, which is why wine goblets were often carved from it. In his poem "L'Amethyste, ou les Amours de Bacchus et d'Amethyste" (Amethyst or the loves of Bacchus and Amethyste), the French poet Remy Belleau (1528–1577) invented a myth in which Bacchus, the god of intoxication, of wine, and grapes was pursuing a maiden named Amethyste, who refused his affections. Amethyste prayed to the gods to remain chaste, a prayer which the chaste goddess Diana answered, transforming her into a white stone. Humbled by Amethyste's desire to remain chaste, Bacchus poured wine over the stone as an offering, dyeing the crystals purple.
A correlation: that my wine consumption has slightly increased during the pandemic, and the frost this morning, reminded me of the Ancient Greek story.
As I child, long before I knew I wanted to be a jewelry designer, I was fascinated by my mother's collection of rough amethyst geodes. Little did I know that I would find a future in gemstones.
As most of you might know, amethyst is considered the birthstone for February. The value of amethyst is not that of sapphire (corundum) or diamond, yet there is a range of value depending on the origin and quality. It is readily mined in Brazil, Russia, Austria, South Korea, India and South Africa. It can also be found in many places around the United States as well as Canada, with the largest mine in North America, located in Thunder Bay, Ontario. It is generally quite affordable and colors range from light lavender to deep reddish plum. It is a durable stone for everyday wear, but as with most gemstones, I always caution to treat it kindly and that any stone other than diamond can scratch.
Come take a look at the amethyst in stock at b. shannon designs.