AMETHYST: February’s birthstone
A member of the quartz family, amethyst is best known for its majestic purple and violet hues. Favored by royal courts in antiquity, amethyst is continually being reimagined for the modern collector.
The Ancient Greeks believed the stone protected against intoxication, because of its wine color perhaps, and both wore amethyst jewelry and encrusted their goblets with it. Amethyst lore includes the story that St. Valentine wore an amethyst encrusted ring, carved in the image of Cupid.
Royal crowns and religious jewelry used lavish amounts of amethyst and it was once thought of as a sister to the ruby, the emerald and the sapphire. After large reserves of the stone were discovered in Brazil in the early 19th century, amethyst lost its premium value but continued to maintain a coveted status among creative and independent master jewelers - at a more affordable price. Modern masters, such as Andrew Grima, David Webb and Houses such as Boucheron have crafted amethyst pieces that are in a word, intoxicating.