Amethyst is considered the most precious variety of the most popular on the planet of the mineral quartz. All the amethysts have one common distinguishing feature is their color. Despite the fairly wide range of shades of this gem covering all tones of lilac and purple, the typical color of this stone is remembered. Sometimes amethyst is called the stone of violets, and the poet Innokenty Annensky, once described the color of the amethyst with the cold pre-dawn twilight. It is thanks to their colour qualities products made of amethyst look so original and unique.
Cameos of amethyst started to cut back in Ancient Greece and in Ancient Rome. One of the oldest antique cameos in the amethyst is kept in the Museum of fine arts Boston. This work dates back to the II century ad and has a very small size – just 12×15 мм. According to one version, it shows the patrician Marcus Junius Brutus Capion is one of the most famous traitors in history, the head of the conspiracy against Julius Caesar. It is to him, according to legend, was converted last words of the great dictator of Ancient Rome, which later became a winged – Et tu, Brute? (And you, Brutus?).
In the same Museum is another ancient cameo on amethyst with a portrait of the Roman Emperor Lucius Faith. This memorable profile was also minted on a Roman coin. Lucius ruled Rome jointly with Marcus Aurelius. Not noted for robust health, the Emperor did not live up to forty years and, according to one version, he died of apoplexy.
The famous product of the amethyst is so called “Head of Arsinoe”. Miniature height 2.2 cm were made in Ancient Greece and dates back to the III century BC In the ancient Greek myths mention several women by the name of Arsinoe. That was the name of the nurse of the God Dionysus, and the mother of the legendary physician Asclepius. However, most likely it depicts the wife of the ruler of Egypt – Ptolemy II. This famous couple remained in history thanks to famous Gonzaga cameo, stored now in the Hermitage.
Another sample of the antique carving amethyst cameo set in gold size 10×8 мм. It depicts Julia, daughter of Emperor Titus Flavius Vespasianus (39-81 гг BC), famous for the fact that during his reign crushed the uprising of the Jews in Palestine and the complete destruction of ancient Jerusalem. Of those tragic events, says, extant, famous triumphal arch in Rome.
A well-known piece of amethyst that are stored in the Art Museum of Cleveland, is a head of a lioness on a stand supported by the eight apes. It belongs to the culture of the ancient state of Meroe, located in III-I centuries BC on the territory of modern Sudan. Its ruins are located close to the Khartoum – capital of the state. The head of a lioness was found together with other artifacts during excavations of the necropolis of Meroe in the twenties of the last century, American archaeologist George Reynera.
The most famous of the more modern designs products include amethyst surrounded by diamonds brooch in the form of a cameo with the image of king George IV (1762-1830). Later this thing got the future king George V as a gift for Christmas 1927 from his mother, who was the sister of the Russian Empress Maria Feodorovna. On the reverse side this cameo letters RB & R – company sign Rundell, Bridge and Rundell, is engaged in supplying jewelry for the royal court.