Waving goodbye to Greenery, the shade chosen by the Pantone Institute to reflect the mood of 2017, we welcome Ultra Violet as the hue for 2018.
The colour experts in Carlstadt, New Jersey at Pantone’s HQ tell us: “A dramatically provocative and thoughtful purple shade, PANTONE 18-3838 Ultra Violet communicates originality, ingenuity, and visionary thinking that points us towards the future.
A description that fits in with the qualities of amethyst, the precious gemstone that is increasingly finding its way back into high-end jewels. Given that amethyst crystals can found in large sizes, with even and deep saturation at still affordable prices, it allows jewellery designers a creative scope that more expensive sapphire or ruby prohibits. What’s more amethyst, or purple quartz, is a relatively hard stone and ranks a respectable 7 on the Mohs scale, following diamond in the top slot at 10, sapphire and ruby at 9, and topaz at 8.
In ancient times amethyst was considered as desirable as emeralds or rubies but the purple hue of amethyst lost its allure in the 1900’s due to a deluge of cheap, inferior quality amethyst. Ten years ago it was rare to see amethyst used in high jewellery creations by the leading Place Vêndome maisons, but examples such as the Van Cleef & Arpels Secret de Cassis necklace (below) or Bulgari (lower image) confirm that amethyst is once again in the big league.
Originally known as the Royal Stone, thanks to its majestic colour that symoblises power, only royalty were allowed to wear the stone. This would explain why amethyst is found in royal collections all over the world from ancient Egypt to the British Crown Jewels. Amethyst is used abundantly in jewellery from almost every era but perhaps most dramatically in the Art Deco epoch by jewellers who valued it for its size, vibrant colour and ability to be cut into large geometric shapes to suit their bold, brave new minimalist designs.
Available in different shades, jewellers can choose a range of tones to work with. Amethyst is the birthstone of February and traditionally it is believed to signify peace and temperance. In Ancient Greek its name refers to it ability to avoid drunkness as amethyst means ‘without drunkenness’ and is thought to help drug and alcohol withdrawal symptoms as well as relieving arthritic pain and alleviating insomnia.
by MARIA DOULTON / THE JEWELLERY EDITOR