Funny how many of us want to change the already existing jewellery pieces. Though these have been made by the most skilled designers and goldsmiths. I think most of them are already at their best and can't be improved. And of course this is just my humble opinion.
Amethysts of good strong and purplish colour were higlhly expensive stones at a time when it was found basically in Siberia. The prices collapsed when the larger deposits where found in Brazil.
No matter what the prices are amethysts are pretty otherwise too and might carry some message in "the language of gemstones". I think they could be worn during the half mourning.
The problem with Lukes idea with the large pear cut sapphires is that it is economically most wise to cut the crystals in the cushion shape (see for example Leuchtenberg sapphire parure or other large sapphires) while the pear form would be quite unusual and waste good material.
And to find this big rubies. Quite impossible. And never in pears...
1. Yellow</B> Pendant. Retail value is $38,000.
2. Sapphire/ White Gold </B>Necklace. Retail value is $50,000.</B>
3. Diamond Sapphire Bracelet. Retail value is </B>$140,000.
4. Deep rownish yellowish orange, diamond ring. Retail value </B>is $35,000.
5. Cabachon Earrings. Retail value is $25,000.
6. Cabachon Necklace. Retail value is $50,000.
7. Emerald Necklace. Retail value is $120,000.
I had no idea amethyst was a birthstone. I thought it was just a substitute for Alexandrite because Alexandrite is so rare.
And I didn't know that alexandrite was a birthstone. Well, at lest in Scandinavia. I see that it is the birthstone of June among pearl and moonstone somewhere in the world.
Actually alexandrite was found as late as 1830 while amethyst has been around for at least some thousand years. So that I think that amethyst is no ones substitute. Somebody has to defend that old fossile.
Alexandrite is not just rare but extremely rare, this can't be pronounced enough. I have seen just a handful of real alexandrites in my life and most of these were heavily included and either too dark moss green in daylight or pale lilac in artificial light. Most of the so-called alexandrite on the market is synthetic or other colour changing gemstones, for example cc sapphire.
The raw material of real alexandrite is quite small but oh, so expensive, so that it is not easily suitable for grand jewelry designs (while amethysts are found in fairly large crystals and work well with all kind of designs, old and modern).
Richard Hughes, some kind of a guru on gemology, writes of alexandrite on www.palagems.com site:
Unfortunately for the lapidaries, larger crystals, usually highly fractured, yielded little facet-grade material and some crystals would not facet at all. Large (over 3 carats), clean alexandrite gems are among the rarest and most costly of all gemstones.
My grandmother had a large real alexandrite ring, a solitaire, the stone was about 2.5 carats at least, it was huge. It was also her birthstone, June. It was stolen and since Alexandrite has went up tremendously since the ring was made, she has replaced it with an amethyst.