Amethyst Crystals from South Africa
Fine grade rough amethyst crystals from South Africa. Each crystal exhibits slightly different characteristics and as with all of the rocks and minerals in our collection, each piece was carefully chosen by one of our team. Available to buy individually, they're numbered from left to right starting in the back row. Number 4 is the amethyst crystal on the left in the front row with number 5 to its right.
The mineral amethyst has been popular throughout history primarily because the colour purple has long been used as a symbol of wealth, status and power. Some of world's finest amethyst crystals have been set into royal jewellery collections from Ancient Egypt to the British Crown Jewels and it's a colour which is still considered to be slightly more exclusive and regal.
- During the reign of King Henry VIII sumptuary laws were introduced for different classes in society which documented who was permitted to wear purple coloured fabrics
- In the Book of Exodus it's written that God instructed Moses to have the Israelites bring him an offering of cloth which included the colour purple
- Hours before his crucifixion, the Romans dressed Jesus in purple to mock his claim of being King of the Jews
Prior to 1856 it was only possible to imitate the purple colour of amethyst using natural dyes hence the process was long, difficult and expensive. The original colour which was known as tyrian purple was named after the Phoenician city of Tyre, modern day Lebanon and was made from the mucous of muricidae sea snails. A huge quantity was required in order to create the tiniest amount of dye. Roman mythology says the muricidae which is more commonly known as a murex sea snail, was originally discovered by the dog of the Roman God Hercules after he picked one up on the beach and his drool subsequently turned purple.
Amethyst the birthstone for February is one of the most popular varieties of the mineral quartz and also one of the best known.