Amethyst is a popular crystal. When you look online for affordable yet beautiful gemstones, you are probably going to see it rank highly on the list. To be honest, it’s not hard to see why. Purple is a popular color and that comes in healthy abundance with amethyst.
Due to its popularity, amethyst has appeared in a wide variety of TV shows, games, and movies. Well, one reason is because Amethyst is a birthstone for the month of February. As a result, it’s not uncommon for certain popular figures to wear it if they were born in February.
Has amethyst always been popular? Was it a relatively unpopular stone until they started appearing in jewelry worn by famous figures? There is the famous Delhi Sapphire, which, despite the name, is actually an amethyst. The famous TV show Steven Universe has amethyst, though as a character and not as jewelry or something.
Well, it’s kind of both. Amethyst as crystal, ring, or pendant has always been well-loved. In fact, it was once an expensive and prized stone among the ranks of diamonds, garnets, and sapphires. Let’s get into the history.
It should go without saying that people loved amethyst before Minecraft existed. But how popular was it before the modern day? That depends on how you define popular. It’s important to know that amethyst wasn’t common in the ancient world or even for the better part of the medieval age.
So, it was popular…for those who had money. It is strange to think about today because of its abundance, but, yes, a sizeable amethyst crystal was worth some serious money before New World deposits were discovered. In other words, the people who wore it were pharaohs in the ancient days. Of course, later this became popular for kings, queens, and other high-ranking nobles.
Amethyst in games like Minecraft, however, can be used to create tools. Did people back in the medieval or event ancient days use it in a similar way? Not really. Since it was rare and precious, most people preferred to put in jewelry. At most, some ancient Greeks had an amethyst crystal to ward off drunkenness.
The other contributor to its success was the color. As we all know, purple is the color of royalty. With their prestigious wisdom, the nobility saw the connection between the two and wore amethyst as a symbol of status. It had also earned its place as the birthstone of February. So, in short, yes, Amethyst was popular before the modern day, but only among the elites, thus making it the most precious variety of quartz for the longest time.
Today, you can find amethyst just about anywhere. It is an extremely common stone. Amethyst is even on Steven Universe as a popular character. Pretty much anyone can easily recognize it at a glance. How did it go from being a cardinal gemstone to something you can grab off the shelf with relative ease?
The answer is simple. New deposits were found in the Americas. Brazil and the United States, even to this day, have rich deposits of amethyst for crystal exports.
Today, Russia and Sri Lanka are known for having high-grade amethyst. However, it’s Russia that has set the standard for that kind of quality, which is known as Deep Russian Amethyst. There are no words to describe just how beautiful a Deep Russian Amethyst is in person. It’s not worth the effort, you’re better off seeing one for yourself.
Even though these new deposits brought the price down immensely, high grade amethyst is still expensive. Most people can afford a common amethyst stone, but something along the lines of Deep Russian is going to require a serious investment.
Amethyst & Pop Culture
With the new deposits, Amethyst has become an easily affordable stone for most people. Amethyst in games like Minecraft or Skyrim probably don’t reflect how valuable they were in the medieval world. But you could give them a pass, since they aren’t realistic games on the nuances of the medieval economy anyway.
Among games and shows, certain famous figures have worn amethyst. Wallis Simpson, the Duchess of Windsor, who had caused a great deal of controversy, had an amethyst necklace that is stunning to this very day. Princess Madeleine of Sweden also wore amethyst, which, again, signifies how the nobility can still value a stone like that to this day.
Though, to be fair, the amethysts they wear are far more stunning than the vast majority you will find walking around. An amethyst crystal they have is without a doubt high-grade, and even then, they have multiple of them.
If you don’t care about nobility, that’s fair. But they are a good case study for showing how it was once held in high regard. Common, but not plain; widely loved, but not stale; and inexpensive, but not cheap.
The Wrap Up
There is no mistaking amethyst’s popularity. Outside of its use as a birthstone, it is a common stone in jewelry, making its royal purple hue something accessible to just most people. While some might mourn the loss of its status as a cardinal gemstone, it still reigns as a monarch.
If you have an amethyst crystal lying about, where did you get it from? Is it your birthstone? If it’s a favorite stone of yours, are you glad that amethyst is in Minecraft? In a way, it has become an icon of the crystal community.
If you are a long-time collector, then there is a chance that you have amethyst. If you don’t have amethyst, then, why not? It is a lovely stone that has rightfully earned its place in any crystal collection.
Thank you for reading!