Protextor Parrish Amethyst Necklace in GoldProtextor Parrish
17.25” long with 14 kt gold fill clasp
Handmade in Minneapolis by Protextor Parrish.
Amethyst (the birthstone for February) is one of the most common--and popular gemstone materials. This variety of quartz ranges in color from deep purple to pale lavender depending on the presence of manganese and iron.
The origin of this gemstone, according to the ancient Greeks, was the nymph named Amethystos. She refused the attentions of Dionysus, the god of wine and intoxication. As he pursued her, she prayed for protection and to preserve her chastity. The virgin goddess Artemis answered her call for help, transforming the nymph into a white or clear stone. The story ends with Dionysus pouring his wine over the stone--either accidentally or deliberately--dyeing the crystal purple.
With purple dye being the royal choice in the ancient Mediterranean, the amethyst quickly became associated with wealth and power. It traditionally adorned the robes and crowns of rich and powerful monarchs, being viewed as equal in value to ruby, emerald and sapphire. Amethyst still holds a place in the halls of power, being worn by church officials in the Church of Scotland, the Anglican/Episcopal hierarchies and the Roman Catholic church.
The British Crown Jewels include a number of pieces with amethyst, including the Royal Sceptre with the Cross, the Kent Demi-Parure and numerous brooches worn by Queen Elizabeth II and other female members of the family. Other royal families have amethyst-studded tiaras and parures in their own collections.