Do you know the Ametrine gemstone? Could you identify it if you saw it in a collection of gemstones where there was no caption as to names of those stones? If your answer is no to either of these questions, prepare yourself for an eye-candy experience because the Ametrine really is a spectacular bi-coloured stone, like the Alexandrite (red and green in a single stone or the Tanzanite (blue and purple in a single stone).
The Ametrine’s colours are none of those colours but rather, in a 50/50 split, they are purple and yellow and, unlike many gemstones that are named for or to honor an individual (the exquisite Morganite) or the place of discovery (the Tanzanite from Tanzania) the Ametrine is named for the two gemstones its colours represent: Amethyst (purple) and Citrine (yellow), hence the name Ametrine (Ame (Amethyst) and ciTrine (Citrine). Isn’t that clever?
The Ametrine is also, as you might expect, a favorite among cutters and sculptors because it challenges their artistry and artistic skills as they play with light and color to create unique and mesmerizing pieces and even sometimes landscapes in a single stone. Really, you have to see it to appreciate this play with light that seems to pass through the stone’s two colours blending them into shades of peach, orange, and magenta. And, if you love the purple-yellow combination as much as I do, you’ll fall for the Ametrine with no need to compromise regarding which to choose because the Ametrine delivers giving you two varieties of quartz for the price of one. Surprisingly, too, the Ametrine is very affordable even though it comes from only one place in the world, Bolivia.
While it may be new to you and many others, the Ametrine, according to legend, is an old stone known by the Ayoreo Indian tribe in eastern Bolivia, where the Anahi mine is located, for more than 500 years but not introduced to Europeans until the 17th century when it was used as a dowry when a Spanish conquistador married an Ayoreo princess. After that there seems to have been little interest in these zonal coloured, purple and yellow, natural quartz crystals until 1925 when the American Mineralogist magazine published an article about them.
Then, in the 1960s reports began circulating about this beautiful purple and yellow mixed stone but because it was still relatively unknown, except perhaps by experts in the jewellery trade and because no country of origin was given, many thought it was a synthetic or lab-produced stone. And many may well have been synthetics because, in 1994 a Russian lab created ametrines using heat and a coloration method that they then exported to other countries using the name Ametrine that only gemologists or experienced mineralogists could immediately recognize as fakes. Therefore, a word of caution if you’re interested in acquiring an Ametrine: buy only from a reputable source or someone you trust.
I’m pretty certain that the Ametrine isn’t a designated birthstone for any month, whether ancient or modern but in terms of the Zodiac gems for each month the Amethyst has been named as the gemstone for Sagittarius and since the Citrine is one of the gemstones for November I see the Ametrine as the perfect alternative birthstone for the month of November. Wouldn’t you agree particularly if, like me, you like, even love both colours in a single stone?
Now, if I have piqued your interest sufficiently to see the gorgeous Ametrine for yourself – no words or pictures can do them justice – and if you don’t want to buy ‘a pig in a poke’ (a fake) I suggest you make an appointment and go see Joe at LL Private Jewellers for his advice and expertise about the Ametrine because he will know the real Ametrine from the fake. Also, he’s the someone you can trust implicitly.
Please for more information about Ametrine contact LL Private Jewellers at 604-684-6343.