DESERT AMETHYSTS

 

Collection of old bottles

 

 

 

 

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The term 'desert amethyst' in Australia refers to clear glass bottles that were strewn across the goldfields. They have turned a deep purple after many years exposure to the sun and are highly prized by collectors. Technically known as solarised glass, they are often cut and shaped into jewellery pieces and that is when the term 'desert amethyst' is applied to the glass.

 

Not all purple glass has acquired its colour from exposure to the sun and only certain types of glass will turn purple after long exposure to the sun's rays.

 

From the 1870s to around 1914, manganese was used in the flux as a de-colourant. After extended time exposed to ultra-violet light, the glass changed from clear to purple.

 

In terms of antique items made of glass, turning purple will actually devalue the item as it is viewed by collectors as damaged glass.

 

Desert Amethysts

 

 

 

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