February birthstone

February Birthstone Guide: The Amethyst

Kim Hartman Bracelets & Interchangeable Bracelets, Earrings & Interchangeable Earrings, Gemstones, Crystals, and Birthstones, Interchangeable Jewelry, Jewelry Education, Necklaces & Interchangeable Necklaces, Rings & Interchangeable Rings Leave a Comment

February birthstoneWhat Is the February Birthstone?

The February birthstone is the amethyst; so many people love this semiprecious gemstone for its purple hue. It’s also the gem for the 6th and 17th wedding anniversaries.

What Are the Characteristics of the February Birthstone?

According to Geology.com, amethyst first begins turning purple during crystal growth. Small amounts of iron “are incorporated into a growing quartz crystal” (“Amethyst”). Then gamma rays, discharged by radioactive materials within the host rock, brighten the iron, resulting in the purple color.

How deep the purple is can vary from one part of the crystal to another depending on how much iron is in the crystal during the different stages of the crystal growth. The darker the purple, the more iron was deposited (“Amethyst”).

What Is the History of the February Birthstone?

The word amethyst comes from the Greek word amethystos, translating, roughly, as to “not intoxicate.” The Ancient Greeks believed the amethyst protected its owner from drunkenness and would use it to create wine goblets (“Amethyst”).

French poet, Remy Belleau, actually created a myth about the amethyst in a poem. In this poem, Bacchus, the god of intoxication, wine, and grapes, desired a woman by the name of Amethyste; however, she did not desire him back. Amethyste desired to remain chaste. So she prayed to the gods to help her, and the goddess Diana answered her prayer by transforming Amethyste into a white stone. Bacchus was so overcome by Amethyste’s desire to remain chaste that he poured wine over the stone as an offering, dying the crystals purple.

It wasn’t just the Greeks who valued amethyst, however. The Egyptians used amethyst to create engraved gemstones called intaglio engraved gems. These were intricately carved gemstones that were considered very luxurious (“Amethyst”).

In medieval Europe, soldiers wore amethyst amulets to protect themselves in battle because they believed amethyst healed people and kept them level-headed. And Anglican Bishops wear an Episcopal ring often set with an amethyst; this is “an allusion to the description of the Apostles as ‘not drunk’ at Pentecost in Acts 2:15” (“Amethyst”).

The color purple, itself, is a royal color. Therefore, in the Middle Ages, amethyst was used to decorate English regalia (“Amethyst”).

In Ancient China, they used it to remove negative energies. And Tibetans consider amethyst to be sacred to Buddha and make prayer beads from it (“Amethyst”).

Where Can You Find the February Birthstone?

One of the largest producers of amethyst is Brazil. Uruguay doesn’t produce as much amethyst, but many consider the quality of amethyst, with its darker and richer hues to be of better quality.

Zambia is also a large producer of amethyst, as well as the United States and Canada.

To find your perfect amethyst gemstone jewelry, just visit StyleDots.com today!

Learn more about birthstones in our Birthstone Guide.