Believed to be a very powerful colour by religious leaders, purple or violet can take the attributes of red and blue to create a magical colour with special properties. Linked with sensitivity and creativity, it has always been popular with creative artists who like the sensual properties of red, combined with the refined calmness of blue. However, it can also display a level of insecurity and lack of self-assurance, so needs to be worn with confidence.
There is much confusion about when to use the word purple to describe a gem’s colour and when to use violet. Firstly, the word violet is derived from that of a flower and purple from a creature of the sea. Still confused? Violet is also the last colour seen in a rainbow and has the shortest wavelength (380 to 420 nanometers) beyond which are invisible ultraviolet wavelengths. More confused? Normally, the two colour descriptions are interchangeable, but many in the gem industry tend to use violet when the colour has more blue tones and purple when the colour has more red tones.
Historically, when the colour was worn by a man, it symbolised sober judgment and gravity; when worn by a woman it demonstrated that she was fond of religion. In ancient times the colour was associated with Thursdays and the planet Jupiter.
When it comes to the colour purple one gem dominates: Amethyst. This official birthstone of February can often demonstrate some of the clearest, most vivid of all colours naturally found in gems. Because the colour has such strong links with religion, for centuries, many religious leaders including the pope have worn Amethyst rings.