Amethyst for February
Amethyst is the birthstone for February. The word “amethyst” is derived from “amethystos” in Greek, with the prefix a-, meaning “not,” and methyein “to be drunk with wine,” because the ancient Greeks believed that the stone could prevent or cure drunkenness in its wearer.
This watch fob (c. 1910) was made by Carence Crafters, a Chicago-based design firm that specialized in Arts and Crafts–style products. It has a pyramid-cut amethyst in a silver Celtic knot–style setting, a motif that appeared frequently in their work. On the back is the word “STERLING” and the Carence Crafters mark of two interlocking Cs in a square. Prior to World War I and the development of the wristwatch, most watches designed for men had to be carried in a pocket. The wearer would have attached his watch to the latch and let the amethyst hang out of his pocket.
Carence Crafters was incorporated on March 7, 1908, with three investors: R. D. Camp, Carl D. Greene, and John H. Dunham. Their output was largely copper and brass jewelry, as well as household items such as candleholders, trays, desk sets, boxes, and picture frames, which were distributed to a nationwide network of retail shops and department stores. As very few of Carence Crafters’ business records exist today, it is unknown why the company filed paperwork to cancel their charter in March 1911.
Watch fob with amethyst stone by Carence Crafters, c. 1910. Clockwise from top: ICHi-074261, ICHi-074260, ICHi-074263. All images by CHM staff.