Amethyst is a shade of purple. Through the ages, the stone has come to symbolize chastity and purity and is often worn by priests in the Catholic Church. The finest specimens of this stone are facet-cut, while the remainder are used for artistic ornamentation. Hardness on the Mohs scale is 7. The stone can be found in Brazil, Madagascar and Uruguay.

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There’s still a long way to go before we reach a more equally gendered art world, but here are some of the women who have played a key role in shaping the history of art thus far.

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