Located in the historic Pike Place Market, Isadora’s has specialized in exquisite antique jewelry for 38 years. Our discriminating collection includes pieces from the early 1800’s through the 1950’s, without a reproduction to be found. Our precious pieces are sent to North American Gem Lab for independent appraisals. We invite you to call our toll free number for applicable discounts. On many of our pieces, we are able to offer between 10-25% off of appraisal value.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Amethyst: February's Birthstone

Bacchus had grown angry with mortals and had therefore
determined that tigers would devour the next mortal who
crossed his path. The young maiden Amethyst was on
her way to worship at the goddess Diana’s temple. Diana
knowing Bacchus’s plan turned the young maiden into a
white statue of colorless quartz to save her. When Bacchus
realized what he had precipitated he was filled with remorse
and cried tears of wine, staining the statue a beautiful purple.

The origin myth of the amethyst is beautiful and tragic
like so many Greek legends. It is easy to paint a picture in
your mind of the beautiful white quartz dappled with purple
tears until it becomes the exquisite stone we know today as
amethyst and my jewelry obsessed mind begins to wonder—
what shade of purple did those tears create. Were there
only a few tears, creating a pale lilac statue, the stone
sometimes termed ‘the Rose of France’ or were his tears
plentiful producing a deep purple amethyst with red flashes?
It is February, and February is the month of amethysts
in the jewelry world so I decided to explore the myths and
legends surrounding this stunning stone.

A quartz, it rates a 7 on the Mohs scale and has color

ranging from the palest lilac to the deepest purple. A royal
color it has often been worn by the clergy and royalty and it
can be seen in the crown jewels of both Britain and Russia.
And today most amethysts can be found in Brazil.

This incredibly beautiful stone has wooed warriors,
intellectuals and great monarchs. It is said the ancient
Egyptians brought an amethyst stone into battle for
protection, that Leonardo da Vinci considered the amethyst
the seat of intelligence and a means of warding of evil and
that Catherine the Great prized the amethyst above all other

Everyone has his or her own personal relationship to a
stone, whether it is a fascination founded on a stone being
assigned ones birthstone or the moment when one espies
the perfect ring. My fascination began with a perfect 1950’s
cocktail ring with an amethyst stone that can be called
nothing short of charismatic. I look at it today and wonder
what began Catherine the Great’s fascination or Leonardo
da Vinci’s and it gives me pleasure to know that while the
world moves forward there are some things that maintain
their beauty and fascination from ancient Greece through my
own personal history.