This month’s birthstone
Amethyst is the birthstone for February and rather than just talking about the stone itself it gives me an opportunity to tell you about a watch I like very much and which features amethyst – the Chopard Imperiale. The rose gold models of the Imperiale have an Amethyst set in the winding crown and the Chopard logo is also in that luscious violet colour.
Stone of emperors
Amethyst has long been associated with emperors and empires and this is very much reflected in the design elements of the watch, with its Roman numerals on the dial and sword-shaped hands reminiscent of the tapered daggers worn by sovereigns and rulers. Look more closely at the mother-of-pearl dial and you will see that there is a finely engraved pattern similar in design to an Imperial rug found in the Tsar’s palace in Moscow after the Russian revolution.
Sacred to the Buddha
Amethyst is believed to have several mystical properties. The ancient Greeks had drinking vessels carved out of this precious member of the quartz family as it was believed to protect the owner from drunkenness. Tibetans believe the stone to be sacred to the Buddha and carve prayer beads from it. And medieval European soldiers wore amethyst amulets as protection in battle in the belief that amethysts would heal them and keep them cool-headed during the heat of combat. Whether or not you believe the charming folklore surrounding amethyst, there is no denying the beauty of this precious violet gem.
Written by Paul Millett