Amethyst Heart Brooch
This heart-shaped brooch has a magnificent 96-carat amethyst surrounded by diamonds. The mounting has a platinum top and yellow gold undercarriage. The amethyst is probably from Brazil and exhibits a deep rich purple color. The brooch has a filigree top, echoing the heart shape with pierced work incorporating a fleur-de-lis motif, set with old European cut diamonds. Suspended from this top is the beautiful amethyst heart. This piece was most likely made during the Edwardian period (1901-1915) when jewelry featured lacy filigree designs that were light and delicate as the clothing at the time, with a sense of refined elegance and luxury. Platinum and diamonds were often used, and amethyst, a favorite stone of King Edward VII’s wife, Alexandra, was often included in jewelry of the era. This amethyst heart brooch was donated to the Smithsonian by Mrs. George M. Morris in 1973. It is on display at the National Museum of Natural History.