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In recent years, gemstones enjoyed a huge surge in popularity for engagement rings. But even among the many colorful gemstones available, amethysts stand out as unique. These whimsical purple gemstones come in a range of hues from the lightest lavender to violet and deep purple with red undertones and flashes of blue. With lavender, lilac and all things purple trending in 2023, there’s never been a better time to buy an amethyst engagement ring.
Amethyst is a purple variety of quartz which owes its signature purple hues to iron and manganese present in the quartz crystal. Amethysts rank at about a 7 on the Mohs hardness scale, which is durable enough for everyday wear, but they still require a bit of extra care as they are much easier to scratch than diamonds.
Amethysts symbolize purity of spirit, clarity, and peace of mind. They have also been associated with the healing of wounds, restful sleep and soothing dreams. According to the GIA, amethysts have been said to improve connection with the divine. Amethysts have spiritual and symbolic significance in Christianity, Judaism and Buddhism. Amethyst is also the birthstone for February.
Amethyst’s purple hue has long been associated with royalty, nobility and wealth. Once upon a time, they were counted among the 5 cardinal gems, or the 5 most precious gemstones in the world along with diamonds, rubies, emeralds and sapphires.
Worn by Princess Diana and Kate Middleton, amethysts are a royal favorite. In fact, there are a large number of amethysts in the Windsor vaults, and according to Town and Country, the Kent Amethysts are the oldest suite of gems in the royal family’s posession. Along with English royalty, amethysts have been worn by Anglican Bishops, St. Valentine, and 16th century Italian astronomer Camillo Leonardi, who wrote that amethyst quickens intelligence and gets rid of evil thoughts.
Until the 1800’s Amethysts were considered quite rare, and therefore quite expensive. When large deposits of amethyst were discovered in Brazil, the price fell significantly due to an abundance of availability. Though they no longer hold the status of cardinal gem, amethysts are still the most prized variety of quartz.
Today, the highest quality amethyst can be found in Brazil, Uruguay, Siberia and Sri Lanka.
On average, amethysts cost $20-50 per carat, depending on the color and quality of the gem in question. Unlike most other precious stones, the price of amethyst does not increase dramatically as carat weight increases. For this reason, an amethyst engagement ring is a great choice if you love the look of a big center stone, but are searching for something at a lower price point, such as this gorgeous Emerald cut solitaire engagement ring from Blue Nile.
For amethysts, color and quality determines their value more than carat size. The highest quality amethysts are deep purple with minimal color zoning. These are the rarest and most valuable amethysts on the market, but still won’t cost nearly as much per carat as diamonds.
When assessing the value of an amethyst, one factor to consider is whether the color has been enhanced, as naturally occurring richness of coloris one of the main factors in determining the rarity and value of an amethyst.
Amethysts come in a variety of shades, and can look good with any color setting, so there are plenty of options. Pairing amethyst with yellow gold will accentuate red and violet tones, while setting an amethyst in white gold or platinum will bring out blue undertones. Amethysts are also frequently paired with rose gold- the blush of rose gold with the lavender or violet tones of amethyst make for a lovely, feminine combination.
While they are striking on their own, amethysts also look stunning paired with a halo of diamonds, or diamond side stones.
Like with any gemstone, there are some pros and cons to keep in mind when considering an amethyst engagement ring:
Color plays a significant role in determining amethyst’s quality and desirability. According to the GIA, the finest amethyst color is a strong reddish purple or purple with no visible color zoning.” Amethysts that are too dark can appear less beautiful and may appear black in dark, dimly-lit environments.
Ideal grade amethysts are classified as “deep Siberian”. While richly colored amethysts are considered more valuable, some people love the look of a lighter lavender color or “Rose de France” Amethyst, so what’s important is what you like.
Quality amethysts should be eye clean, but it is normal to see some color variation. Look out for bubbles, as they can be a sign of synthetic amethyst. Real amethyst remains relatively cool to the touch, unaffected by ambient temperatures.
Ask whether the amethyst has been heat treated to enhance color, as heat can be used to artificially enhance the color, making an amethyst look appear more valuable than it really is.
Because amethyst can fade if exposed to light and heat, it is best to store your amethyst jewelry away from heat and direct sunlight to prevent the damage and fading.
Since amethyst is not as durable as diamond, it is best to take extra care not to scratch or damage it when you are doing anything hands on. We recommend removing your ring when you plan to play sports, wash dishes, work in the garden, or do anything else that could potentially scratch your ring.
To clean your amethyst engagement ring, simply use a small bowl of warm water with a few drops of dish soap and wash gently with a clean, lint free cloth.
As always, the smartest thing you can do when you buy an engagement ring is to purchase from a reputable vendor. Choosing a good vendor when you buy an engagement ring ensures your ring will be well made from high-quality materials. Knowing you are working with a vendor you can trust will also give you peace of mind as you make one of the most important purchases of a lifetime.
James Allen and Blue Nile both provide a fantastic selection along with high-quality photos to help you choose the perfect ring, and great return and resizing policies. They also provide top of the line customer service, and generous return and exchange policies.
Here are some of our very favorite amethyst engagement rings for 2023:
Setting an amethyst centerstone in a ring with a classic setting gives these gorgeous solitaires a unique update.
An amethyst makes the perfect centerpiece for a bold statement ring.
These simple, beautiful amethyst rings are as budget friendly as they are beautiful.
Amethysts and diamonds are definitely a winning combination. The rich purple of amethyst and the radiant sparkle of diamonds is a match made in heaven. These rings display the elegance of amethyst and diamond with the added touch of vintage inspired detail.
A Rose de France amethyst set in rose gold is a breathtaking and ultra feminine combination for 2023.
Whether you decide on a diamond, or a lovely gemstone like amethyst for your engagement ring is an entirely personal choice. Diamonds have a classic appeal, and many people like the iconic and traditional symbol of a diamond given as an engagement ring. Diamonds are also unrivaled when it comes to brilliance and durability. But Amethyst’s charm lies in their exotic color and look, making it possible to give a beautiful engagement ring without going totally traditional.
If your fiance-to-be has a flair for the unconventional, prefers to stand out, or simply loves all things purple, an amethyst engagement ring could be the perfect choice. Another advantage of choosing an amethyst engagement ring is that you can easily find a beautiful amethyst ring of a larger carat size without breaking the bank. You might even have room in your budget to choose an amethyst ring that features diamonds like this Floral Ellipse Diamond Cathedral Engagement Ring.
Choosing the right engagement ring comes down to taste and personal preference, but amethyst is certainly a great choice for an alternative engagement ring. If you need any help with picking out a ring, feel free to contact us.
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