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"I wanted to create a signature gemstone necklace that could be worn in various ways. I love combining pieces (like the Eastern Time charms or my keys and locks) and wanted to bring my customers something beautiful that was versatile and fun. When I was working on the design and trying to create a balance, I thought about the symbolism of the number six (which symbolizes celestial harmony and balance) and it worked perfectly into the concept. Choose Amethyst for spirituality and meditation and Garnet for happiness and energy."
Stone Information & Mining
Amethyst is the purple variety of the quartz mineral species. It's the gem that's most commonly associated with the color purple, even though there are other purple gemstones such as sapphire and tanzanite. Its purple color can be cool and bluish, or a reddish purple that's sometimes referred to as "raspberry."
Legend & Lore
Because of its wine-like color, early Greek legends associated amethyst with Bacchus, the god of wine. Other legends reflected beliefs that amethyst kept its wearer clear-headed and quick-witted in battle and in business affairs. Fine amethysts have been set in religious jewelry and royal crown jewels for ages. It was once considered equal in value to ruby, emerald, and sapphire. It's no wonder that fine amethyst adorns the fingers of bishops as well as the coronation regalia of British royalty.
Amethyst's purple color can range from a light lilac to a deep, intense royal purple and from brownish to vivid. Amethyst also commonly shows what is called color zoning, which in the case of amethyst usually consists of angular zones of darker to lighter color.
Amethyst can be safely cleaned with warm soapy water. Ultrasonic cleaners are usually safe except in the rare instances where a stone is dyed or treated by fracture filling. Steam cleaning is not recommended, and amethyst should not be subjected to heat.
Shop our selection of amethyst jewelry.
Jewelry designer Barbara Bixby began her studies at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City at the age of 16. Although she started out with a focus on sculpture, she soon fell in love with jewelry design. "I love what I do as a jewelry designer. I am extremely lucky to have found my passion early for what would ultimately become my career," enthused Bixby.
After finishing her education, Bixby took a variety of jobs that allowed her to become more familiar with the world of fine jewelry. Eventually she was asked to design a personal collection for an established designer that was the initial inspiration to create her current collections.
In need of fresh inspiration, Bixby spent a year traveling the world and painting. Upon her return, she continued to develop collections for many highly renowned design houses before moving on to create her own intricate pieces. "My current collection is my most exciting undertaking to date. I use the jewelry medium to create a piece of art, with precious metal as my three-dimensional canvas and gemstones as my color palette."
Each piece combines Bixby's distinctive drawing style, her love of symbolism, and the unique attributes of gemstones. Her influences and inspirations come from a variety of sources - some as far-reaching as Asia and Europe and others as personal as her garden and country home. More than anything, though, her love of art has remained the driving force behind her work.
"I love to see people take my jewelry and make it their own. The way we present ourselves is an expression of our greatest work of art, the soul."