Madagascan Skeletal Smoky Amethyst Polished Crystal Point - 50mm, 107g
Locality - Madagascar Size – 50 x 50 x 39mm Weight – 107g
This polished Madagascan amethyst is a unique crystal with intricate skeletal 'window' internal structures, varied inclusions and zoned lavender purple colour. Earthy brown clay inclusions and flecked, shiny silver-black hematite spots can be seen encased within it as well as a few tiny but vivid rainbows (as photographed). It has an attractive semi-polished finish, showing stepped surfaces on some sides, with a naturally rough base. Overall, it is a hefty single amethyst point with lovely aesthetics.
Amethyst is the purple variety of quartz, coloured so by iron impurities or natural radiation exposure. It is formed in silica-rich liquids deposited in gas cavities of lava that occur in crystalline masses and is often found in geodes.
Quartz is the most common mineral found on the surface of the Earth, occurring in virtually every locality. Pure crystals are colourless, transparent and hard. It is a significant component of many igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary rocks and occurs in an impressive range of varieties and colours. It occurs in two basic forms; macrocrystalline and microcrystalline (or 'cryptocrystalline'). Macrocrystalline quartz is made of visible crystals or grains, such as rock crystals or rose quartz. The microcrystalline variety is made of dense and compact aggregates of microscopic quartz crystals and crystallites, such as flint and chert.
Amethyst in History
Amethysts use in jewellery can be traced back as far as the Neolothic period – approximately 4000BC – and samples of this gem set into gold rings have been uncovered from burial sites dating back to 2400BC. The name 'amethyst' derives from the Greek 'Amethystos', meaning 'non to intoxicate', as it was believed to prevent drunkenness. In ancient Greece, wealthy lords who wished to stay sober in social events were said to have drinking glasses carved from amethyst so that the dark purple hue of the gem would disguise the colour of water and make it appear to be wine. Similarly, it was also believed then that to save a drunkard from delirium you could mix crushed amethyst into their drink.
In a legend from Greek mythology, Dionysus, the god of intoxication, pronounced his love to a beautiful you maiden named Amethystos who refused his advances. Enraged at her refusal, Dionysus let loose ferocious tigers upon her as she set out to pray to the goddess Diana. Before they could reach her, Diana transformed Amethystos into a statue of pure quartz so that the tigers could not harm her. Horrified and regretful at his attempt to hurt her, Dionysus wept tears of wine over the statue she had become, staining the clear quartz purple, thus creating the gem amethyst.
The deep purple colour in some amethyst specimens may slowly fade if in prolonged exposure to direct sunlight, and whilst this change is very gradual, it is recommended to keep it out of sunlight if you wish it to retain its colours for years to come. Care for your crystals well, and these natural treasures can last a lifetime (and more)!