Amethyst – February’s Birthstone

Amethyst is the birthstone for the month of February, it also happens to be one of my favorite stones. I’m not a huge fan of the color purple, but I think amethyst is really pretty, especially when it is used with silver or gold. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, amethyst is “a clear purple or bluish-violet variety of crystallized quartz that is often used as a jeweler’s stone.” Unlike most quartz stones, amethyst contains more iron oxide, which is thought to give it the purple color.

As with most gemstones, there is some interesting folklore surrounding amethyst. In ancient Greece, amethyst was thought to ward off drunkenness, so much so that historians have found wine goblets carved from amethyst. Then in medieval times, the stone was thought to promote healing and help the wearer stay cool-headed. Because of this thought, many medieval soldiers would wear amethyst on themselves during battle. According to American Gem Trade Association (AGTA), “Leonardo da Vinci believed that amethyst could dissipate evil thoughts and quicken the intelligence.”

Traditionally, the color purple has been the color of royalty and for this reason amethyst has been used by monarchs and rulers in their adornments dating as far back into history as history has been recorded. Fine amethyst stones are included in the British Crown Jewels. Up until the 18th century, it was thought that amethyst was one of the most rare stones and was valued as much as “the big four” (diamond, sapphire, ruby, and emerald); however, over the past 200 years, deposits of amethyst have been found throughout the world. Some of the places it has been found are Brazil, Uruguay, South Korea, Russia, Austria, India, Africa, Canada, and the United States. Within the United States, some of the areas where amethyst is found are Arizona, Colorado, Texas, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Main, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan. This widespread availability of amethyst helps to keep the cost of it significantly lower than what it could be; however it is still highly prized and higher grade amethyst stones are quite valuable.

The photos below show a necklace and a pair of earrings I created. I think they really capture the elegant simplicity I strive for in my designs, and they are made with amethyst.

Do you wear any amethyst jewelry? If so, is it one of your favorite pieces or a piece you wear occasionally? Like I mentioned above, I’m not a big fan of the color purple, but there is something about amethyst I find to be really pretty and the deep color almost has an air of mystery about it to me. Thanks for reading!

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