Selling with a Story: Amethyst

Elizabeth Raffel shares her insights about storytelling and selling amethysts

Romancing the Stone


Try to imagine a world without stories. It’s impossible because stories give shape to everything we experience, learn, and imagine. We love to hear them, and we love to share them. Stories tap into emotion and build relationships. The best stories are re-told through the centuries.

This makes storytelling one of your most powerful sales tools — especially with gemstones that have such rich and colorful pasts. Throughout history, people have schemed to get them. Endured great hardship to find them. Killed to claim them. Even married to receive them. Great gemstones have been gifts of love, of alliance, of extravagance, and of debt.

Some have been gifts of the gods. All have been the subject of ancient lore, many imbued with magical or mystical properties that resonate to this day.

When a customer is attracted to a particular stone or shade of that stone, there’s usually a good reason. Let them tell their story, then share your own stories about the gem.

Sharing interesting gemstone stories with your customers helps you make an emotional connection and build trust, so basic to closing the sale and creating long-term customers. As an add-on, chances are good that when customers show the jewelry to friends, they’ll share their stories and mention your name.

Each month, we’ll highlight stories related to that month’s birthstone. Read them for insight, for fun, and to share with your customers.


Sell with a Story: Amethyst for February 

When we think about amethyst, its extraordinary color comes to mind. For February birthdays, that color is purple — a rich, sumptuous, radiant purple. A royal purple.

From its earliest discovery, amethyst’s sumptuous shade has cast a spell, one that bewitches even today. Its gorgeous hue represents royalty, passion, daring, fashion, and dreaminess.

Most Amethyst came to Europe all the way from Brazil. It was scarce, very expensive, and considered a precious stone – at times even more valuable than diamonds. Then in 1799, large amethyst deposits were found in Russia’s Ural Mountains, and amethyst’s price declined. Still, only the wealthy could afford it.

Today, amethyst is plentiful and modestly priced. Yet its allure remains whether featured alone or accented by a wide array of gems – everything from pink sapphire, emerald, and diamond to citrine, peridot, and morganite.

Its Name

Though most sources refer to the Greek meaning of amethyst — “away from drink” or “not drunk,” — both its Arab name, al-hilma, and its Hebrew name alhama, mean “dream stone.” To wear one meant you would dream, though it’s unclear whether or not you had to wear it at night!

Historically Speaking

Our most ancient amethysts come from Minos, an island in the Aegean Sea, and they date back to ca. 3100 B.C. They are polished cabochons set in gold, a combination that remains popular to this day.

Amethyst’s royal lineage begins in Egypt’s 12th Dynasty. An amethyst and gold heart scarab was discovered in the tomb of Amenemhet II, 1919-1885 B.C. Amethyst beads were found in the tomb of King Tut. Cleopatra herself wore an amethyst ring engraved with the image of the Persian god Mithras.

England’s oldest Crown Jewel is an amethyst worn in the 11th century by Edward the Confessor. Queen Elizabeth I had a highly prized amethyst necklace, and to this day, superb amethysts decorate coronation regalia.

Catherine the Great of Russia had a passion for amethyst so intense that she sent thousands of workers into the Ural mountains to search for deposits. Fortunately for us, but unfortunately for her, large deposits were found in 1799, three years after her death.

The Passion of Purple

Purple is a combination of red and blue in different proportions to achieve different shades. Making purple required great skill and was a long, difficult, and costly process. The stunning result that yielded a wealth of shades, was available only to those who could afford it: kings, nobles, priest and magistrates around the Mediterranean. Royalty and purple: it was the beginning of a beautiful relationship.

Over time purple became associated with daring change: women’s suffrage, feminism, counterculture and free expression.

Today, purple is for everyone. Stuller offers a large assortment of genuine and imitation amethyst in a wide variety shapes and sizes. For customers who wants a birthstone set (earrings, pendants, and rings), the 36-piece birthstone kit gives them affordable options. You can find the perfect stone for the customer who appreciates everything that amethyst conveys – artistic expression, stunning sophistication, and free-spirited joyfulness.

Have a favorite way to feature birthstones? A favorite story about amethyst? Share it with us by leaving a comment!

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