Happy September! I should probably be talking about Sapphires, but to be honest, I’ve been dreaming of Amethyst! Amethyst is one of my favorite semi-precious stones- and it was the first piece of rough gemstone that I owned! I think I was 10 when I got it, and that hunk of gorgeous amethyst crystals on the left of the infographic still graces my desk as a paperweight. 🙂 Amethyst is a rather durable gem, and is one of the most valuable members of the Quartz family, though it can be scratched somewhat easily, so be careful if you wear Amethyst rings. The best specimens of gem quality Amethyst are found in Brazil, followed by Madagascar, Zambia, and Uruguay. Which makes those countries numbers 1-4 on my “Awesome Places to Visit Someday” list! A sub-set of Amethyst is “Rose de Amethyst”, which was originally found in France. This variety is a luscious pinkish violet, and is prized among collectors. And if you guess that I just landed some, and it’s next up on my bench, you’d be right! 😉 Amethyst jewelry should be cleaned in warm soapy water, though ultrasonic cleaners can be used if the stones are not dyed or stabilized by fracture filling. Never use steam cleaning, or subject your Amethyst jewelry to steam cleaning, or abrupt changes in temperature, as this can cause discoloration and fracturing. One of the reasons I like Amethyst so much is that it can be worn with anything, and always looks amazing. No wonder it’s been prized for generations by royalty, and called “the gem of the gods”!