February Birthstone Amethyst
The birthstone for February is amethyst which, due to its beautiful rich colour, has been a favourite precious gemstone of nobles and royalty for centuries.
How is Amethyst Formed?
An amethyst geode is a hollow rock with amethyst crystals inside, lining the walls.
For the amethyst to form it requires a cavity rock. The cavity formation of the rock happens where lava is or was close to the Earth’s surface and has cooled. The cavities fill with gas and a presence of either iron or magnesium or even both, determines whether the clear quartz changes to purple. The purple crystal is amethyst.
Where is Amethyst Found?
The largest amounts of amethyst are found in Brazil and Uruguay.
The February birthstone Amethyst is also mined in Canada, France, India, Madagascar, Mexico, Morocco, Myanmar, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, Sri Lanka, Russia and Arizona, USA.
Is Amethyst Heat-Treated?
Most amethyst gemstones these days are heat-treated therefore improving the colours of the gemstones. Heating can lighten or darken the gemstones.
Most varieties of birthstones are heat-treated.
What Colour is Amethyst?
February’s birthstone amethyst can be any shade of light purple, pale violet through to rich purple with red and blue flashes.
Green amethyst is actually prasiolite and not a naturally occurring gemstone. The green shade is obtained by heating amethyst or yellow quartz.
Not all amethysts can be heated to obtain the colour green.
How Much is Amethyst Worth per Carat?
The value of an amethyst depends solely on the colour of the gemstones.
Rich purple with dark red flashes is the most expensive. This colour is usually mined in Siberia.
Does Amethyst Scratch Easily?
February birthstone amethyst scores 7.0 on the Mohs Hardness Scale.
Amethyst has a pretty good hardness for all types of jewellery. However, as with all gemstones, always take proper care to protect your amethyst jewellery.
Take special care when wearing rings with amethyst gemstones. Always avoid hard knocks and doing heavy work whilst wearing your ring.
Can Amethyst be used in an Engagement Ring?
How do I Clean my Amethyst Jewellery?
Use a soft toothbrush, ideally a children’s toothbrush with soapy water. Dry and polish with a soft cloth.
Marie-Lan Taÿ Pamart / CC BY (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0)
13 Fun Facts, Myths & Legends
The French poet Remy Belleau (1528-1577) invented a myth around Greek Mythology in his poem “L’Amethyste, ou les Amours de Bacchus et d’Amethyste” (Amethyst or the loves of Bacchus and Amethyste).
He tells of a beautiful maiden named Amethystos who refused the advances of Bacchus also known as Dionysus, the God of wine. The maiden prayed to the gods to keep her unblemished. The goddess Artemis answered her prayers by turning her into a white stone. Dionysus was so distraught he poured wine onto the stone which turned purple. Thus, the amethyst is often associated with rage, love, and lust. It is said all amethyst originates from this stone.
There are many variations of this tale.
The word amethyst comes from the Greek methustos meaning intoxicated. It was believed to protect its wearer from intoxication.
Leonardo da Vinci believed wearing amethyst increased the intelligence of the wearer.
Some of the finest amethyst gemstones were found in Russia, hence Catherine the Great wore amethyst jewellery as one of her favourites.
The Queen of Sweden’s tiara which once belonged to Empress Josephine of France features an enormous oval amethyst surrounded by Diamonds.
Queen Elizabeth II owns a set of jewellery consisting of a necklace, two hair combs, three brooches and a pair of earrings called the Kent Demi Parure. Also known as the Kent Amethysts, this set is made of amethysts and diamonds. Although The Queen has only worn the complete set once in 1984, she often wears one of the brooches.
Amethysts are also included in The Royal Sceptre with the Cross which are part of the Crown Jewels.
Amethyst is not defined by Carat weight due to it being so readily available compared to other precious gemstones. Amethyst is valued mainly for its colour.
One of the most famous amethyst coloured Dehli Sapphire which was stolen from an Indian temple and is rumoured to be cursed. It is on display at the Natural History Museum in London.
Which colours look best with amethyst? Purple, lilac, light blue, indigo and pink outfits.
Harsh light can discolour amethyst so it’s better not to wear your favourite jewellery whilst sunbathing.
Amethyst symbolizes the 6th and 33rd Wedding Anniversary.
The chemical formula for amethyst is SiO₂
The Birth Colours for February are Light Blue, Yellow and Purple.
February’s Birth Flowers are Violet and Primrose.
February Birthstone Amethyst, A Few Ideas For You
Amethyst Birthstone Rings
Amethyst Birthstone Necklaces
Amethyst Birthstone Earrings
Amethyst Birthstone Bracelets
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