This time, we are looking at two gemstones that are in shades of purple. One is plum jade, an unusual version of the stone that most people associate with a Chinese dragon in a deep translucent green colour. The second is Amethyst, actually a type of quartz.
Jade actually comes in two types – jadeite and nephrite. Jadeite is made of granular crystals while nephrite crystals are fibrous. The difference can be seen in the fact that Jadeite tends to be translucent while nephrite is more milky. Jadeite also comes in variety of colours such as lilac, green, yellow, orange, white, red, pink, black, blue. Nephrite tends come in dark green and a cream colour.
Jade is highly valued in the Far East and goes back over 9000 years in Chinese history. The Chinese word for Jade is “Yu” which means “the one who rules”. Jade is believed to be a sign of purity and serenity in China. It is also seen as a lucky stone that helps achieve goals and dreams.
Translucent green jade is the most valuable form of jade and this is very rare to obtain. The next most valuable form of jade is plum jade or lavender jade that comes in smoky shades of lavender with some natural inclusions and variations. Plum jade is believed to help provide inner peace. In ancient times, lavender was used for embalming bodies by the people of Arabia, Egyptians and Phoenicians. One of the popular souvenirs from Luoyang in China is plum jade.
Amethyst is the most prized member of the quartz family and has been seen as an important gemstone for many centuries. At one time, it was available only to royalty and so we see why purple is a sign of royalty. In ancient times, it was seen to be as valuable as Ruby and Emerald, but the find of vast amounts of Amethyst deposits in the 1800s made this a lot more inexpensive and much more easily available.
Did you know that the name Amethyst is derived from the Greek term “amethystos” which means “not drunken”, since the Greeks believed that it could help curb drunkenness?!
The colour can range from light to dark purple and different geographic locations of the Amethyst tends to give it the characteristic colour. The Amethyst is believed to calm the mind and rid it off evil thoughts. It is also believed to enhance creativity and passion and strengthen intuition.