Appraisal of an Amethyst Dish

The amethyst was once a symbol of royalty



Thank you for sending me an image of your rock. I must tell you that it makes me happy that you have sent this in. The first things that I collected were rocks — and the collection continues to grow to this day. Recently a new exhibiting dealer in our shop brought in a collection of vintage homemade signs advertising “Sylvia’s Rock Garden,” complete with descriptions labeling metamorphic, sedimentary and igneous rock species. The signs were fabulous with rudimentary hand-lettering painted on slate with wooden stakes.

As this is not a lesson in geology, I recommend picking up an old text book or doing an online search to re-familiarize yourself with the different species of rocks. Your rock is an amethyst, and it has been polished and carved out to make it into a dish or, most likely, an ashtray, as was popular in the mid 20th century. The amethyst is a purple-colored quartz mineral that has been celebrated throughout history for its beauty. It is the February birthstone and was a symbol of royalty in the Middle Ages. In Greek mythology, amethysts purportedly offered protection against intoxication.

I started collecting rocks when I was around 5 years old. My first archaeology experience was finding rocks in my parents' gravel culverts around our house. These archaeological hunts soon expanded to mines and rock and mineral stores throughout my early travels. I categorized the rocks that I had collected; while they were never very valuable, they always meant a lot to me. Stone has been used for hundreds of years in jewelry, vessels and sculpture. There are many ancient examples of amethysts being made into amulets and vessels. However, the more contemporary versions do not have that much value as amethysts have been plentifully sourced and mined, primarily in Brazil.

Your amethyst dish unfortunately does not have the value that it deserves, but it is a nice specimen.

I would estimate it at $45.

 

Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Popular Articles

  1. New Hampshire Summer Camp Memories
    Do you love bug juice, ghost stories, toasted marshmallows and Color Wars? Then thank the Granite...
  2. Our Favorite Ways to Stay "Cool"
    Have fun and be cool — literally and figuratively — in New Hampshire this summer.
  3. Discovering Newbury
    Find peaceful reflection in Newbury.
  4. Destination Dover
    Perfect for summer retail therapy.
  5. Nine Not-To-Miss Museums to Visit This Summer
    This summer, we think you should learn a thing or two.
  6. Tunneling to the Great Bay by Bike
    The Rockingham Recreational Trail isn't the fastest way there, but it's worth the ride.
  7. Homemade Cutting Boards by Matt Carstens
    Preserving nature with the kindest cut.
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags