The name Amethyst is derived from the ancient greek "amethystos", or "not drunk" and refers to the myth which is linked to this gem.
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Chemical composition of amethyst
Amethyst belongs to the family of Quartz macrocristallini (consisting of large crystals), together with Citrine, Rose Quartz and the Eye of the Tiger. Its color ranges from pastel shades of pink to dark purple and is produced from iron elements.
Extraction of amethyst
Found in varying amounts in every continent, Amethyst can vary according to the source. Currently, Brazil is the most famous mining area and the first Brazilian Amethyst arrived in Europe as early as 1727 l'Uruguay also possesses the important fields and its specimens have a purple hue and deeper. Other sources can be found in Madagascar, Kenya and Zambia. The Siberian Amethyst, a deep purple color, it is now a memory, although sometimes it can happen to hear misusing the term "Siberian" amethyst to describe the intense color of indefinite origin.
History of amethyst
The origin of amethyst is described in this legend, the god of wine, known to the ancient Greeks as Dionysus and Bacchus to the Romans, was the "bad boy" of mythology. Despite his divine mission was to put an end to the concerns, Dionisio often combined a certain amount of trouble, especially after a few pints of good grape juice.
The myth tells how once Dionisio, drunk as usual, after being ignored by a human passing by, he swore revenge on the first unfortunate that he had come to meet. At that moment passed Amethyst, a beautiful and innocent young girl, a faithful disciple of Artemis, to which Dionysius unleashed two tigers hungry. The cries of Amethyst, Dionysus filled the cup waiting to enjoy the show.
Artemis suddenly turned Amethyst into a statue of Quartz, as pure as his virtues. L'incantesimo was served to steal the girl to danger, but it was, unfortunately, irreversible and Dionysus, a prey to remorse, shed tears of pain in his cup of wine. The tears poured the wine into the cup and Dionisio, staggering, candendo accidentally spilled wine on the statue, creating the gem we call purple Amethyst.
Amethyst are attributed to a number of supernatural forces; there is no ailment that this gem will not heal!
Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) wrote that amethyst was able to drive away evil thoughts and sharpen the iuntelligenza, while Pliny the Elder (23-79 d. C.), historical author of the Historia Naturalis (the first encyclopedia the world), said that if the name of the moon or the sun was engraved on town's Amethyst hanging on the neck of a baboon, it would be a charm against witchcraft and a talisman for those who submit petitions to the principles.
Long before the Roman emperors to adopt a vivid purple, called "toga picta", were the Pharaohs, Queens and Kings to make the purple a powerful symbol of sovereignty. By the seal of Cleopatra, the necklace Amethyst Queen Charlotte, the Amethyst is and will always be linked to power. Not surprisingly, this gemstone was very popular, even in the Middle Ages by the Catholic clergy.
Considering that favored celibacy, it quickly became known as "the papal stone." Even today the bishops lead Amethyst rings.
Features of amethyst
The most important factor to be taken into account when assessing an amethyst is the color: the more intense it is, the more expensive. Amethysts have the finest shades ranging from medium to dark purple to transparent and pure, without nuances of red or blue, although flashes of blue or red are valuable and highly sought after. Amethyst crystals are scarce inclusions; normally there are no visible inclusions when the gem is examined at 15 cm away from the naked eye. Being a very popular gem cutters and jewelers from, you can find Amethyst cut in many different ways, more than they do with any other gemstone. Regardless of the cut, are the color tones and high gloss criteria for a specimen of the quality.
Variety of amethyst
To differentiate the varieties of Amethyst color is also shown next to the origin of the gem, which for some specimens is synonymous with quality.
The Amethyst Breijnho, for example, is mined in Brazil, from the mine to Breijnho and is especially popular for its purple flashes that appear on the surface of deep purple.
The Amethyst Zambian instead presents a clear royal purple with wonderful shades of blue and red that illuminate the body with every movement.
The rare Amethyst Uruguay fascinates with its deep purple hue and its special red flashes.
The Rio Grande Green Amethyst (Prasiolite) has intense shades of green and is usually more valuable than traditional Amethyst Green; These two varieties are different from mines: The Green Amethyst is located in Uberaba (Minas Gerais), while the Green Amethyst Rio Grande is originally from Rio Grande do Sul.