Monday, June 1, 2009

Ametrine, Ametrine, Prettiest Gem…

Ametrine… Ametrine… prettiest gem that I’ve ever seen…” (to the tune of “Abilene”)

Wandering through one of our local weekend swap meets some years ago – before I had an inkling I would someday be designing jewelry -- my husband and I came across a rockhound’s display area. In the midst of polished rock slices, geodes, gem spheres, rough (sometimes just barely out of the ground but hosed off) and objects d’art, one item in particular caught my eye: a semi-transparent tapered obelisk with inclusions, about 3” long, pale amethyst gradually morphing into a pale sunny yellow.

I knew absolutely nothing about gems. Well, a wee bit -- I knew amethyst was purple and citrine was yellow. But this looked like the result of an amethyst-citrine marriage that produced a bi-colored child. I know the seller told me the name of the stone but I didn’t remember it. I only knew what I wanted to do with it: hang it from the brass pot holding the Christmas cactus above my kitchen sink with its window that looks out to the back yard. But how?

(right: ametrine necklace from At the time, I had a wonderful jeweler, Henk, who hailed from Hong Kong. No matter what the jewelry issue, Henk always came up with an artistic -- and oft times, technical -- solution. He agreed to drill a hole in the slightly rounded top and install an eye screw so the piece could be hung. He told me it was ametrine, a colored quartz. It was only later that I learned that ametrine -- also known as Bolivianite and found only on the Brazilian-Bolivian border -- is a naturally occurring composite of amethyst and citrine.

“Twice powerful,' ametrine is said to embody the properties of both amethyst and citrine, making it a "bridge" that helps balance the spiritual and the material worlds. While amethyst helps one visualize a desired result, citrine helps one manifest the vision into the physical. Learn more about ametrine at

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