February marks the month when we formally fête the lovely amethyst stone. Lucky for us, we have a number of amethyst jewels in our assortment on Isharya.com which makes this month a perfect time to explore the different hues, facets and uses of amethyst! And “[w]ith Radiant Orchid running the color scheme in 2014, this is, in fact, the year of amethyst” declares Brittany Siminitz, JCK’s Marketplace manager. With this news, expect to see amethyst accents throughout the year.
Back to the Greeks
It was said to have received its distinctive wine-purple hue courtesy of the Greek god of the grape. Dionysus, according to myth, drank too much red wine and became angry with the young virgin Amethyst. When she cried out to Diana for help, the goddess turned her into a shimmering white quartz. A remorseful Dionysus began to cry. His tears mingled with the red wine in his goblet, which overturned and spilled on the maiden-turned-rock, transforming it into the signature purple of February’s birthstone.
This link to the drink is presumably why Greeks felt that amethyst gems could prevent intoxication. Medieval European soldiers wore the stone into battle for protection as well as fast healing and to remain cool-headed. Even St. Valentine, patron of romantic love, was said to sport a ring that wasn’t the expected pink but was instead made from engraved amethyst.
Dionysus, State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg, Russia (credit: theoi.com)
Amethyst, The Essence of the Color Purple
This mysterious purple gemstone has long enjoyed a reputation of being a touch magical, somewhat enigmatic and captivating. And “beautiful enough for crown jewels yet affordable enough for class rings,” add the gemstone experts at the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), deeming amethyst “the essence” of the color purple, a perenially popular hue.
Amethyst comes in all shapes and sizes in its original form. The Online Mineral Museum by AllMinerals.com provides a dizzying array of amethyst minerals from all over the world.
Amethyst minerals from Zambia (credit: Online Mineral Museum)
Amethyst for the Home
With the purple hue Radiant Orchid hailed as color of the year by Pantone, it might be time to bring the color home if you haven’t yet. “Use it to add drama, ground a bright color scheme, or bring in glamour through accents,” advise the experts at Better Homes & Gardens. “From deep eggplant to pale lavender, purple is a versatile color that looks great in most rooms.”
Better Homes and Gardens, September 2013 issue
It can be as simple as using some elegant accents and home decor accessories, maybe a few throw pillows, a lamp or wall sconce, or even some elegant table linens. Or perhaps you’re in the mood for something more dramatic, in which case, you could reupholster the couch or loveseat (or both!) in amethyst. Alternatively, try some curtains or perhaps a coat of paint. Using a lavender makes for a cozy cottage feel, especially paired with pristine-white trim, while a deep aubergine creates a stately mood, particularly with rich red draperies.
Our Top 10 Favorite Amethyst Home Ideas
To help inspire your creativity and think outside the jewelry box, here are some stunning and unusual amethyst items we found that are guaranteed to turn your home into a gem.
1. Amethyst Countertop
Bring the luster of amethyst into the kitchen with a counter hand-hewn from jewelry-quality stone by Gemstone Surfaces. A truly stunning way to amp up the appeal of all-white or chrome appliances. By Contemporary Kitchen Countertops by Scottsdale Furniture & Accessories Scottsdale Design Center
2. Amethyst Bookends
These striking bookends were handmade by artist and rock lover Jon McCoy, who channels his lifetime fascination with natural organic shapes into eyecatching, hand-sculpted home decor. By McCoy Design as seen in Elle Decor.
3. Amethyst Lamp
A treasure-trove of crystals atop a sleek lucite base make it easy to add extra glimmer to any room. We love this one from Anthropologie.
4. Amethyst Mosaic Tiles
For a truly stunning style statement, try adorning an entire wall in natural amethysts! This natural stone mosaic tile from Dune is glamorous (and surprisingly easy to install).
5. Amethyst Wine Stopper
These Brazilian pineapple-clustered amethyst jewel-like bundles are produced by nature and each piece is unique. A glam way to keep your vino safe and secure. Also makes a thoughtful gift for a housewarming, anniversary, birthday or hostess. By Uncommon Goods.
6. Amethyst Paperweight
Even the most paperless of offices look more chic with the glint of amethyst, as does a bathroom vanity, the coffeetable, or bookshelf. By RabLabs.
7. Amethyst Salt and Pepper Shakers
Carved from solid chunks of amethyst and polished to a high sheen, these stunning salt and pepper shakers are like jewelry for your table! By Zhush.
8. Amethyst Knob
The easiest way to make a home more elegant is by upgrading the hardware and we’ve seen few knobs as artistic as these made from real amethyst. By Landi.
9. Amethyst Napkin Rings
The next time you host a dinner party, add amethyst napkin rings to your table decor. Hand-polished and cut from Brazil, they’ll be sure to be a subject of conversation. By Rablabs.
10. Amethyst Installation
Brazilian brothers Fernando and Humberto Campana created this gorgeous installation made from hanging glass panels bedecked with São Paulo-sourced amethyst rocks. This is a great idea for a room divider. Campana Brothers in Interior Design.
Post snaps of your favorite amethyst pieces to Instagram with #FebruaryAmethyst and we’ll regram our favorites!
Till next time…