A relative newcomer to the gem world, ametrine is a variety of quartz that exhibits the best aspects of both purple amethyst and yellow citrine within the same crystal. These bicolor yellow and purple quartz gemstones have a hardness of 7.0 on the Mohs Scale and are ideally suited for a variety of jewelry uses.
Ametrine is most typically faceted in a rectangular shape with a 50/50 pairing of amethyst and citrine. When cut into emerald and pear shapes, the color distinction is most notable. Sometimes a checkerboard pattern of facets is added to the top to increase light reflection. Ametrine can also be cut to blend the two colors so that the resulting stone is a mix of yellow, purple and peach tones throughout the stone. When ametrine is fashioned as the less-common brilliant round shape, its colors reflect and blend together to create the peach-like color.
Ametrine is especially popular among artistic cutters and carvers who can play with the colors, creating landscapes in the stone. Amethyst's purple and citrine's yellow are opposite each other on the color wheel. They are called complementary colors, meaning that they enhance each other, and are considered by artists to be excellent colors to use together. Because its beauty lies in the coexistence of the two colors, ametrine is usually recovered in larger sizes; over five carats is most popular, which allows for the appreciation of the pronounced color contrast.
The Anahi Mine in Bolivia is the major world producer of ametrine. The mine first became famous in the seventeenth century when a Spanish conquistador received it as a dowry upon marrying a princess from the Ayoreos tribe, named Anahi. Ametrine was introduced to Europe through the conquistador's gifts to the Spanish queen. The stone is relatively inexpensive, considering that it comes from only a few mines in the world, including Bolivia and Brazil. Several suppliers have indicated that the ametrine mines have run out, and therefore quality material is now very difficult to obtain.
As a newcomer, ametrine does not yet have folklore or historical significance attached to it, as do amethyst and citrine. Some sources believe, however, that the best aspects of amethyst and citrine lore should be attributed to ametrine since it is a combination of both gems.
Necklace & Bracelet Clasp Types
A clasp is more than a practical device used to fasten your jewelry. It is part of the overall design and can be a very important focal point. Be sure to consider if it will suit your needs of durability, fashion, comfort and peace of mind.
Lobster Claw Clasp: As a traditional clasp style found in bracelets and necklaces, the lobster claw is generally reserved for heavier styles that may need added strength. The closure's shape is more oblong, similar to a teardrop shape, and is controlled by a tip that opens and closes the spring in the clasp. This type is also considered a more expensive finding that can add to the overall value of the jewelry piece.
Magnetic Clasp: The popularity of the magnetic clasp has greatly increased in recent years. It is a quick and easy way to secure jewelry while not having to fuss with a tiny clasp, which can be difficult if you have long fingernails, arthritic hands or other mobility challenges. A magnetic clasp relies on a strong internal magnet that works to pull both ends of the clasp together. In most cases, a magnetic clasp is used for light to medium weight jewelry pieces that do not put excessive stress on the magnet.
Slide Insert Clasp: This type of clasp is exactly as it sounds. With a box-like shape that is hollow on the inside, the wearer will slide the nearly-flat tab into the box until it clicks, indicating a secure closure. On some jewelry, a slide insert clasp will be accompanied by a side safety catch, which adds strength and security to the clasp. Although this type of clasp is found on both bracelets and necklaces, it is particularly popular on bracelet styles. These types of clasps are often reserved for more expensive jewelry.
Spring Ring Clasp: One of the most common closure types, the spring ring clasp is typically used for light to medium weight bracelets or necklaces. It is round in its design and features a small tip which controls the opening and closing of the spring. The circle then closes around another smaller loop or link at the other end of the strand.
Toggle Clasp: A toggle clasp is a narrow piece of metal, usually designed in the shape of a bar, which is then pushed through a circular ring to act as a fastener. Unlike the lobster claw or spring ring clasps, a toggle clasp is not controlled by a spring. The pretty design is less secure than other closure types, but is usually meant to be a big part of the design and is meant to "show". The clasp is an attractive way to secure a chunkier link bracelet or necklace.