A purple amethyst ring was said to have been worn by St Valentine, with the gem carved to depict his famous assistant, Cupid. It is perhaps fitting then that the regal purple amethyst is the birthstone of February.
A type of quartz, purple amethyst can be seen in gorgeous tones from lilac to deep purples. However beautiful, the attractive gem historically has more than just aesthetic appeal. Amethyst had particular importance to the ancient Greeks, and as a result of their grape-like colouring, the gem was linked with the god of wine, Bacchus. Moreover, the ancient Greek word amethystos meant “not drunk” in ancient Greek and in fact, the Ancient Greeks believed the stone had properties to protect against drunkenness!
This late Victorian amethyst and pearl cluster ring (lot 94) could be the perfect gift this February, to a loved one or to yourself. Set with an oval faceted amethyst surrounded by split pearls, this gorgeous little gem comes with an auction estimate of £80- 120.
Of course, more than one pretty purple gem is due to go under the hammer this month at McTear’s. Lot 100 features a purple gem set pendant, along with a pair of attractive Edwardian purple gem set earrings. This gorgeous little group comes with an auction estimate of £80- 120.
A purple gem set and diamond three stone ring features at lot 190, set with a central deep purple gem flanked by diamonds totalling approximately 1.24 carats. This impressive ring is estimated at £300- 500.
McTear’s sells more jewellery than any other traditional auction house in the dedicated jewellery auctions that take place twice monthly, run concurrently live online on a platform that attracts six million visitors annually from over 120 countries worldwide.