Friday, November 7, 2008

November: 18 Karat Celebrates the Colour Purple

Instead of keeping with the birthstone theme, 18 Karat has decided to break the mold. Instead we have chosen to celebrate the colour purple, and all the luscious stones who share this hue.

The word 'purple' originates in the Greek name for a dye manufactured in antiquity from the mucus-secretions of the spiny dye-murex. Glamorous.

This has a lot to do with why purple has long been associated with luxury and nobility – only the aristocracy could afford blue and purple dyes, while the peasantry was resigned to brown and green. (Purple was apparently Cleopatra's favorite colour).

This remarkable colour has long been associated with the supernatural. Perhaps because of its presence in all sorts of natural phenomenon: the Northern Lights and the fantastic floral arrangements of Mother Nature.

Some popular purple gems include Amethyst, Tanzanite, and Sugilite.

Amethyst comes from Greek, meaning 'not intoxicated'. It was believed that the wearer would be protected from drunkenness and seduction. An amethyst amulet was also worn by medieval knights who believed it would protect them during battle.
Amethyst ranges in hue, from a soft lilac to a deep purple. The ideal grade, "Deep Siberian", has a purple hue of 75-80% and a blue hue of 15-20%, with possible secondary red tones.

Tanzanite was only recently discovered in 1967 in the hills of Northern Tanzania by Manuel de Souza, and as a result, has been referred to as 'The Gemstone of the 20th Century'.
With its striking and alluring aura, combined with its rarity, Tanzanite has become a symbol for those wishing to set themselves apart from the rest.

Sugilite has also been a relatively recent discovery, discovered in Japan i 1944, but also found in Canada, Northern South Africa, and India. Sugilite isn believed to balance the mind and body, to protect the wearer against anger, anxiety, and other negative energies.

Go on, celebrate your favorite shade of purple, and stop by our store at 275 Dundas Street West, Toronto (Right next to the Art Gallery of Ontario) to see our lovely purples stones, or ask how we can build one for you!

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