Wed, 03 Feb 2021

February Birthstone 2021 – Amethyst

February Birthstone 2021 – Amethyst

 

If you are a February baby, your birthstone is Amethyst – a purple to violet color quartz. The word “amethyst” comes from the Hellenistic Greek “amethystos”, which translates simply as “not intoxicate” – so it’s no surprise that the ancient Greeks wore the stone and decorated drinking vessels with it in the belief that it would prevent drunkenness! Its violet to deep purple hues can be cut into many different shapes and sizes. There are large deposits of amethyst found in Brazil, Zambia, Australia, and popular small deposits found in the United States and Russia. Even though amethysts are found in large quantities, the gemstone is also manufactured in laboratories. Historically, amethyst can be found in the jewelry collections of royalty and clergymen throughout Europe and Asia. Happily, today it’s within reach of most middle-class consumers.

 

ABOUT – What is Amethyst?

 

Amethyst is a bright colorful birthstone and is referred to as the purple to violet color of quartz. 

As a variety of quartz, it shares similar characteristics to other gemstones such as asper, chalcedony, agate, citrine, and ametrine.

Amethyst
Amethyst’s color quality ranges from extremely pale violet to dark purple. (Image Source: GIA and Tino Hammid)

Amethyst has a relatively high hardness of 7 on the Mohs scale. Amethyst can be used in rings, earrings, necklaces, and bracelets for everyday use. 

As mentioned, there are large deposits of amethyst found in Brazil, Zambia, and Australia. Two mines that are world-renowned for producing some of the world’s finest stones include Siberia and the Four Peaks mine located at Arizona Boardwalk. Siberian amethysts have deep, rich purple colors with flashes of red and blue. Traditionally, amethysts with this rare coloration have received the highest values. Whereas, amethyst crystals from the Four Peaks mine display a typical morphology for amethyst, consisting mainly of rhombohedral faces. Facetable material varies from light to dark purple, and generally, only small portions of the crystals are suitable for faceting.

If you’re a February baby but purple isn’t your color – you’re in luck. In the lighter violet colors, you can often get more of a blue or red stone. The other option for you is ametrine, which is a combination of amethyst and citrine with the purple of the amethyst and the yellow-gold of the citrine. 

Ametrine
Polished Ametrine Gemstone. Ametrine combines the purple of the amethyst and the yellow-gold of the citrine.

 

HISTORY – What is the history of Amethyst?

 

Amethyst jewelry has been found as far back as 2000 BC, popular amongst royalty and clergymen – not surprising, since purple has been the color of royalty. Amethyst was frequently used in regalia including crowns and scepters. 

 

Wallis Simpson, the Duchess of Windsor, wearing her famous Cartier bib necklace set with amethyst and turquoise, created for her in 1947.
Wallis Simpson, the Duchess of Windsor, wearing her famous Cartier bib necklace set with amethyst and turquoise, created for her in 1947. The necklace is made of gold, platinum, brilliant, and baguette diamonds, a central heart-shaped amethyst surrounded by 27 emerald-cut amethysts and one faceted oval turquoise cabochon. (Image Source: Royals-and-Quotes.tumblr.com)

Throughout most of history, amethysts were as rare and as expensive as sapphires, emeralds, and rubies. It wasn’t until the late 1800s, when a large amethyst deposit was discovered in Brazil, that the gemstone became more affordable.

 

MEANING – What does Amethyst symbolize?

 

Many cultures associate amethyst with peace, courage, and stability. Crystal practitioners believe that amethyst enhances meditation. Tibetan monks use amethyst beads in meditation malas. Amethyst is also the traditional wedding anniversary gift for the 6th and 17th years of marriage. 

 

CLEANING TIPS – How to clean Amethyst? 

 

Amethyst jewelry can be cleaned using two methods: using an ultrasonic cleaner or a soft brush with mild soap. Steam cleaning is not recommended.

 

SHOP – Amethyst Jewelry

 

If you’re shopping for the February birthstone, you’ll probably also encounter lab-grown amethyst. Synthetic amethyst has the same chemical and physical properties as its natural counterpart. In most cases, it is very difficult to distinguish natural from synthetic amethysts without advanced gemological testing. 

Clover Amethyst and Diamond Cocktail Ring in 14K Yellow Gold.
Clover Amethyst and Diamond Cocktail Ring in 14K Yellow Gold at B2C Jewels.
Amethyst Medley Chandelier Earrings in Sterling Silver with 18K Yellow Gold Accents.
Amethyst Medley Chandelier Earrings in Sterling Silver with 18K Yellow Gold Accents by Tacori at Whiteflash.

 

Oval Rose de France Amethyst Statement Ring in 14k Rose Gold.
Oval Rose de France Amethyst Statement Ring in 14k Rose Gold at Blue Nile.

 

FORUM – Where can I read more about Amethyst? 

 

Go to Amethyst (For those with a Passion for Purple)

Go to Value of Amethyst 

Go to Opinion on Amethyst 

Are you a February baby? Do you own amethyst jewelry? What is your favorite thing about amethysts? Share by clicking the comments button below!

Written by Bianca Mac Donald 

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