Sixth Year Anniversary Gift Guide: Amethyst
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What is Amethyst?
Amethyst is the official sixth anniversary gemstone, offering a traditional alternative to iron or wood. Amethyst is the purple variety of the mineral quartz, which is found in everything from sand to large crystals. While the mineral quartz is quite common, it is usually transparent, making its purple variety relatively rare. Most ancient amethyst were mined in Sri Lanka, where they were deemed a cardinal gem for their rarity. Now, large deposits of amethyst have been found in Brazil and Madagascar, so they are considered to be semi-precious stones. This makes the stunning purple gem relatively affordable and an excellent choice for a sixth anniversary gift to give a stunning, rare gem that won't break the bank.
History of Anniversary Gifts
The tradition of wedding anniversary gifting began in the Victorian Era, when love marriages began to replace arranged and political marriages. This new form of marriage did not have the same deep rooted customs as traditional marriages, so wedding gift traditions began to form as a way to validate these new marriages. According to traditions first published in the 18th century, the traditional sixth anniversary gift is candy or iron, with wood as the contemporary option. This can include cast iron pans, iron or wood sculptures, or wood home decor.
Amethysts have a rich history and symbolism, making them a wonderfully meaningful sixth anniversary wedding gift. The name amethyst comes from the Greek word Amethystos, which translates to "not drunk." This is because the Greeks believed the gem could prevent drunkenness, making cups and chalices out of the stone to counteract the effects of their drinks. In other cultures, the gem is believed to symbolize love and passion. According to some accounts, St. Valentine himself wore an amethyst ring shaped like Cupid to represent true love. With such a rich history and symbolism, your sixth anniversary gift is sure to represent your own romance.
While all amethyst is purple, the sixth anniversary gem can come in a range of hues to make each gem beautifully unique. Amethyst's color can range anywhere from a light lavender color to a rich blue-purple color. The most valued color of amethyst is reddish purple or purple, with minimal brown or bronze and color zoning. The highest valued color of amethyst is Deep Russian, which is only found in a few localities in Siberia. This color of amethyst is a deep purple color that exhibits striking flashes of red under a close examination. The source of this color of amethyst has been nearly depleted, making it exceptionally rare and valuable.
Another popular color of amethyst is Rose de France Amethyst, which gets its name from its pale shades of purple and pink. Although the gem is most commonly found in Brazil, the gem was named after France to evoke the romantic associations with the country. This lighter color of amethyst was originally considered to be less desirable than more saturated gems, but its growing popularity has made it more valuable and an ideal sixth anniversary gift if you are looking for something more feminine and romantic.
Amethyst bracelets are a great sixth anniversary gift idea if you want a gift that is classic and versatile. Amethyst bracelets can come in many styles depending on the occasion and gem size you are looking for. A bold amethyst rope bracelet will feature large, eye-catching amethyst gems and is perfect for special occasions. Alternatively, a bezel bracelet featuring just one gem could be the perfect way to add a small pop of color.
A necklace can be a stunning way to show off your sixth anniversary gem. There is a large range when it comes to amethyst necklaces depending on your style and budget. A simple oval necklace, like this one from James Allen, is just subtle enough to show off the gem while suitable for everyday wear. A diamond halo can also bring out your amethyst's bright color, as seen in this Floating Halo Necklace from James Allen.
If you are looking for a sixth anniversary gift that you know will pair with anything, amethyst earrings can be the perfect choice. A pair of small amethyst studs can pair well with any outfit, while amethyst drop earrings or even beautifully intricate chandelier earrings can add a dash of luxury to any affair. Drop earrings, like these from James Allen, can also be used to create an elegant and refined look with a creative shape.
Amethyst rings are an excellent sixth anniversary gift choice to compliment your spouse's existing engagement and wedding bands. An amethyst's stunning purple color will pair well with any color of metal, so you can be sure your rings will match. Choosing a ring with a diamond halo or diamond accents can also bring out the bright color of your amethyst gem and add even more luxury to the piece.
Caring For Amethyst
In order to keep your sixth anniversary gift looking new, it's important to take proper care of your amethyst to protect it from scratching and natural wear and tear. Amethyst ranks as a 7 on the Mohs hardness scale, a ranking from 1 to 10 that demonstrates how resistant to scratching a gem is. To maintain its shine and avoid scratches, it's important to take proper care of your sixth anniversary gift. Clean your amethyst jewelry regularly with a soft cloth or soft-bristled brush with soap and water to avoid damage.
Amanda is a student of geological sciences and environmental studies at Tufts University. She grew up hiking and mountain biking in the Bay Area and continues to explore nature and learn about the beautiful gems and minerals it forms in her free time.
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