Famous Amethysts

Last week we talked about February’s Birthstone, the amethyst.    Take a look at some of these stunning examples of Amethyst Jewelry over the years.

An Egyptian Amethyst necklace featuring an 8th century BC. inscription. The use of amethyst in Egypt dates back as far back as 3100 B.C. The Egyptians primary source for their supply of amethyst came from Nubia, once a province of ancient Egypt. It was a favorite of Egyptian Pharoahs, most often used for personal adornment.

Egyptian Amethyst Necklace with Inscription

Despite its name, the infamous “Delhi sapphire” is in fact a purple amethyst! The stone was stolen from an Indian temple and is said to be cursed! The amethyst was found by a young curator in the British Natural History Museum’s vaults, along with a letter from its previous owner warning that it brought bad luck. He ignored the message in the letter, and took the stone to a science symposium, where he was caught in a horrific thunderstorm and fell ill with kidney stones.  Despite this amethyst’s dangerous reputation, it is currently on display in the Natural History Museum in London.

Delhi Purple Sapphire

The Morris Amethyst Brooch, set with a 96-carat heart shaped amethyst, is in the collection of the Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History. The amethyst is probably from Brazil and exhibits a deep rich purple color. This piece was most likely made during the Edwardian period (1901-1915) when jewelry featured lacy filigree designs that were light and delicate as the clothing at the time, with a sense of refined elegance and luxury. Amethyst, a favorite stone of King Edward VII’s wife, Alexandra, was often included in jewelry of the era.

Morris Amethyst Brooch

Queen Silvia of Sweden’s tiara is set with amethysts that were originally owned by the French Empress Josephine. The tiara actually didn’t start out as a tiara at all; in fact, it’s only been a tiara for a few decades. Instead, the piece was originally a necklace made of diamonds surrounding fifteen large amethysts.

Princess Madeleine donned the tiara in 2012.

The Duchess of Windsor amethyst and turquoise necklace was created by Cartier for Wallis Simpson, the Duchess of Windsor, in 1947.

Duchess of Windsor Necklace

Commonly, a Bishop’s ring is an oval shaped amethyst, usually very large, with the diocesan seal engraved directly into the flat surface of the gem. In earlier times the ring was always worn on the middle finger of the Bishop’s right hand. This ring was very visible when the Bishop raised his hand and gave a blessing.

Bishops Ring

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