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1 February 2020

Amethyst is the birthstone for February. It derives from the Greek amethystos, which means “a remedy against drunkenness.”

The gemstone is believed by ancient Greeks and Romans to ward off the intoxicating powers of Bacchus, also was said to keep the wearer clear-headed and quick-wittedin battle and business affairs. 

A Victorian amethyst rivière necklace cross pendant, set with twenty marquise cut gems in a cut down setting, spaced by individually set old cut diamonds, with a detachable cross pendant. Mounted in gold.  In a fitted box By Harvey & Gore, London. Circa 1880.  £10,500

Throughout history, the gemstone has been associated with many myths, legends, religions, and numerous cultures. English regalia were even decorated with these gemstones during the Middle Ages to symbolise royalty. Amethyst jewellery has been found and dated as early as 2000 BC.

An Edwardian amethyst and diamond brooch,https://moirafinejewellery.com/antique/109-edwardian-amethyst-and-diamond-brooch.html with a large emerald-cut amethyst, in a yellow gold claw setting, with an eight-cut diamond set millegrain edged surround, with larger old-cut diamonds in rub over settings, in platinum. The back can be removed so it can be worn as a pendant. Estimated total diamond weight 1.50ct. Circa 1910. £6,000

Some historical accounts say that Saint Valentine had a ring in this material carved with an image of Cupid. For those familiar with Old Testament history, this was one of the twelve gemstones that represented the twelve tribes of Israel.

An amethyst intaglio ring, with an emerald-cut amethyst, carved with the head of a Roman style woman, in a millegrain edged rub over setting, with a square nailhead design and millegrain edged surround, with carved and millegrain trefoil shoulders, mounted in 18ct white gold. £2,900

For many years, this was held to be one of the most precious gemstones, often favoured by royalty or exclusively by the clergy as a symbol for the deity of Christ. It was even held for many years in the same regard as the diamond. It wasn’t until the discovery of more abundant supplies that it became a gemstone enjoyed by more than just the wealthiest buyers.

A pair of amethyst double sided cufflinks, with with larger and smaller, cross-hatched, amethysts, giving a quilted appearance, mounted in 18ct gold, with chain fittings. In a Parsons The Jewellers Ltd. box, Bristol. Circa 1930. £3,200

Many wearers of this gem throughout history and even today prize it for its symbolism as well as its beauty. Leonard da Vinci once said that this gemstone  helps to quicken intelligence and get rid of evil thoughts. Other qualities like peace, stability, courage, and strength are said to be derived from this material.

A pair of Art Deco, amethyst and diamond earrings, with Edwardian-cut diamonds in the tops, with thirteen, round brilliant-cut diamonds, in each, in articulating, millegrain edged, rub over settings, with caps set with rose-cut diamonds and briolette-cut amethyst drops, studded with diamonds, in rub over settings, mounted in platinum, with 14ct white gold butterfly backs. £13,500

Today, many wearers simply prize the gemstone for its beautiful shade of purple, and the way it complements both warm and cool colours.

An amethyst pendant and ring suite. The pendant is set with a long, emerald-cut amethyst, in a six claw setting, in a heavy gold mount, with rope and dot carving. The ring is set with an oval faceted amethyst, in a four-claw setting, in a heavy gold mount, stamped 18k. Ring signed Designs Lyon Pendant 84g, 62 x 24mm; ring 40g, stone 25 x 19mm finger size UK N½, USA 7 £16,000


View our amethyst selection on the website or visit us at our premises in Burlington Arcade, London

Bruce Rowley
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