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It’s not often that you spot someone wearing an amethyst engagement ring, which makes this stone the ideal option for unconventional brides. The deep violet hue stands out and can have a slightly vintage edge to it, depending on the style of the ring. While they may be far from traditional, amethyst engagement rings will still stand the test of time.
What Is Amethyst?
Amethyst is an ancient semi-precious gemstone and a purple variety of quartz. There are many shades of amethyst, ranging from a dark violet color to a light, almost clear purple hue.
The History of Amethyst Gemstones
The deep purple color of amethyst reminded the Ancient Greeks of wine, and so it was named “Amethystos,” the Greek word for “not intoxicated.” In fact, the ancient Greeks and Romans believed that amethyst could keep someone from getting drunk, and so they used it to make wine glasses, thinking it would prevent overindulgence. “Medieval soldiers also wore the stone into battle to protect themselves and aid them in staying focused,” explains Madeline Fraser, the founder and CEO of Gemist.
Meet the Expert
Madeline Fraser is the founder and CEO of the try-before-you-buy jewelry site and app Gemist.
Amethyst Gemstones vs. Diamonds
For many people, the most appealing thing about an amethyst engagement ring over a classic diamond is the bright color. “Yes, we all love diamonds,” says Mason Roberts, founder of Ringagement. “But at the same time, we also love to see something new and beautiful.” The price tag doesn’t hurt either. “The beauty of lure of amethyst is its budget-friendly price tag,” says Fraser. “Large amethyst stones are relatively inexpensive.”
Meet the Expert
Mason Roberts is the founder of Ringagement, an online platform providing guidance to anyone shopping for an engagement ring.
The biggest disadvantage is the fact that amethyst isn’t as durable as diamonds. “It’s fairly hard—a 7 on the Mohs Scale, on which a diamond is a 10,” explains Roberts. “But that could be misleading. Mohs created his scale just by ordering common minerals from softest to hardest. Diamonds are literally 10 times harder than amethyst.” Stil, amethyst is strong enough for everyday wear. “It’s plenty hard and durable, and it has a beauty all its own,” says Roberts. “If you’re careful with amethyst, of course, it can last a lifetime. It just couldn’t take the possible punishment that a diamond could,” he adds.
What to Look for in an Amethyst Ring
To find a quality stone, Fraser recommends holding it up to the light to see if it’s transparent. “When held up to the light, it should travel completely through the stone,” she says. “Amethysts of high quality should be completely clear and should not have inclusions.” Remember to check the surface to ensure there are no nicks or scratches.
You should also know which shade you want since these stones can range from very light to very dark. “In general, people prefer dark purple natural amethyst gemstones,” says Roberts. “But it’s entirely up to what you like. You should also ask if they’ve enhanced the color, a common practice with gemstones, to make sure you don’t overpay.”
Pay attention to the cut as well. “They’ll never sparkle diamonds, and that’s definitely not the point of amethyst,” explains Roberts. “But they should be cut symmetrically, beautifully, evenly, and with proportions that you like.” Lastly, keep in mind that the metal it’s paired with may affect the shade of the stone. Fraser explains that certain metals will enhance colors. For example, white gold may display more bluish undertones, while a warm metal will magnify the richness of the deep purple.
How to Care for Your Amethyst Ring
Since amethyst isn’t as strong as a diamond, you might not be able to wear it during all of your everyday activities. Roberts warns that amethyst can fade after long exposure to bright light, so avoid leaving it in a sunny window. He also recommends taking your ring off before showering, as the heat can cause the color to fade over time. “Always protect from nicks and daily activity by removing them when in the gym, swimming, and when applying lotions or using cleaning products,” says Fraser. And, when storing and not wearing, keep your amethyst ring away from other gemstones as it can scratch easily.
In terms of cleaning your amethyst ring, Roberts recommends lukewarm water and some soap. “I never recommend using ultrasonic cleaners on any jewelry, even diamonds, since even diamonds can chip if they vibrate against each other,” he adds.
Scroll through stunning amethyst engagement rings ahead.
Pasquale Bruni Madame Eiffel Amethyst and Diamond Ring
Make an impact with this large cushion-cut amethyst stone that demands attention. Pavé diamonds sparkle on the sides of the square halo.
SHOP NOW: Farfetch, $6,161
Effy Rose Gold Amethyst and Diamond Ring
This may not be advertised as an engagement ring, but that doesn’t mean you can’t wear it as one. Surrounded by baguette and round diamonds on either side, this large emerald cut amethyst stone is impossible to miss.
SHOP NOW: Effy, $2,237
Tacori Horizon Shine Amethyst and Diamond Emerald Ring
Amethyst has a more delicate look to it when paired with white gold or sterling silver. This Tacori option features an emerald-cut amethyst sitting horizontally with pavé diamonds lining both ends.
SHOP NOW: J.R. Dunn, $390
Trumpet & Horn Amethyst Brisbane Ring
A deep purple amethyst ring is so gorgeous that it doesn’t actually need a lot of embellishment to make a statement. This ring is proof of that: an oval solitaire amethyst sits on a delicate gold band.
SHOP NOW: Trumpet & Horn, $975
Reba Purple Amethyst Engagement Ring
This stunning deep purple amethyst engagement ring is a nice take on a classic design. A large round center amethyst sits in between clusters of small round diamonds, with a slim gold band for the perfect contrast.
SHOP NOW: Capucinne, $980
Amethyst Engagement Ring
When paired with something unexpected, like a meteorite band, amethyst looks even more unique. This one gets some extra sparkles from the diamond halo.
SHOP NOW: Jewelry by Johan, $2,475
Cushion-Cut Amethyst Diamond Halo Ring
Amethyst takes the place of a diamond in this traditional style ring. The cushion-cut center stone sits in a pavé diamond halo with a delicate band.
SHOP NOW: Blue Nile, $683
Amethyst Fortuna Ring
Go for a more classic engagement ring style with this choice. A cushion-shaped amethyst sits in a diamond halo with a sparkling split shank band.
SHOP NOW: Brilliant Earth, $3,140
Stephen Dweck Flower-Engraved Medium Amethyst Ring
Deep purple amethyst stones are most popular, which is why it’s nice to go for a light one sometimes. This light option is a unique cut with a flower engraved band for a feminine touch.
SHOP NOW: Neiman Marcus, $665
Cushion Amethyst and Rose de France Trillion Ring
A truly unique style, this cushion-cut amethyst is surrounded on either side by two lighter rose de France stones. The yellow gold band is the perfect finishing touch.
SHOP NOW: Blue Nile, $550
Amethyst Ring in White Gold
This deep purple amethyst stone contrasts nicely with a dazzling diamond halo and a white gold band. It’s a traditional design with some color added.
SHOP NOW: Klenota, $723
David Yurman Châtelaine Ring
A sparkling amethyst stone looks right at home on a silver double-spiral band. This is a slightly more bold and less delicate ring.
SHOP NOW: David Yurman, $1,300
Nayla Amethyst Engagement Ring
Sometimes simplicity is best. This princess-cut amethyst stone sits on a white gold band dotted with small pavé diamonds.
SHOP NOW: Juliet & Oliver, $860
Audra Amethyst Ring
A round center amethyst ring looks even more colorful in this diamond setting. The sparkling infinity shank makes one a little more interesting.
SHOP NOW: Rock Her, $1,436
White Gold Amethyst and Sapphire Ring with Meteorite
Mixing amethyst with other gemstones is a way to add even more color to your ring. In this one, an amethyst stone is surrounded by smaller sapphires, and the band features dark meteorite.
SHOP NOW: Origin Jewelry, $1,930