The Roman intaglio of Caracalla carved in amethyst from the treasury of the Sainte-Chapelle in Paris.
As recently as the 18th century, amethyst was a highly prized gemstone and was considered just as valuable as the finest diamonds, sapphires, emeralds and rubies! However, during the mid 18th Century extensive deposits were discovered in South America, especially Brazil, and so amethyst lost much of its perceived rarity and concomitant value.
As with all coloured gemstones, the depth of colour is the most important consideration when assessing the value of an amethyst. Some of the most valuable amethyst gemstones will not only have a deep, rich colour but may even display red flashes. As amethyst is often found in large structures, the value of this gemstone is not primarily determined by its weight and so, unlike with most other precious gemstones, the value will not increase exponentially with the size of the stone. The most important consideration when valuing amethyst is always the richness of the colour it displays.
The most prized colour grade for amethyst is known as “Deep Russian” which is exceptionally rare and will command a very high price indeed. However today amethyst will never reach the value once seen as being equal to the highest grades of sapphires or rubies. And so, in this respect, amethyst has become a far more affordable gemstone than it originally was. I am sure you will agree that it remains one of the most beautiful and fascinating of all gemstones. It is certainly one that I enjoy working with and I include in some of my favourite jewellery designs.
See one of our latest new amethyst jewellery designs featured here.
Photo: © Marie-Lan Nguyen/Wikimedia Commons/CC-BY2.5