Get a royalty look at an affordable price with February’s birthstone, amethyst. In shades of purple, Amethyst is the most intriguing of gemstones. It is a variety of quartz but differs from common quartz due to its violet to purple color.
Amethyst Symbolic Meaning
From the Greek word, “amethystos” translates as “not drunken.” In ancient times Amethyst was thought to be an antidote for drunkenness so wine goblets were carved from this gemstone. Today Amethyst still symbolizes sobriety.
Amethyst Spiritual Meanings and Uses
Rosaries in Tibet are designed with Amethyst because the gemstone is considered to be sacred to Buddha. Among the many legends, Amethyst is said to bring protection from sorcery, bad dreams, some medical problems.
It is valued to bring victory in battle, possess good powers, safe travel, repels negativity, and is considered a symbol of true sincerity.
As a semi-precious gemstone, Amethyst has been in much demand in history. In the Middle Ages, Amethyst was thought to encourage celibacy and extensive ornamentation was in use by many churches, including the Catholic church.
Since it was first discovered 5000 years ago in ancient Egypt, people have attributed it to all sorts of amuletic qualities. Few other gems get so much attention.
In antiquity, the Egyptians strongly believed that amethyst could prevent the owner from being poisoned. The high-ranking officials wore them a lot because of the rivalry that existed for their position.
Amethyst special properties
In medieval times February’s birthstone became the symbol of Christian love and devotion. Churchmen wore amethyst rings and jewelry because they believed they helped them have divine revelations and wisdom.
Putting an amethyst under one’s pillow was thought to cure insomnia and bring beautiful dreams.
Amethyst Care and Cleaning
For thousands of years, it has been a common practice in the jewelry industry to heat treat gemstones. This practice helps amethyst keep its original color and be more resistant. However, this doesn’t mean you don’t need to take good care of your jewel. Avoid heat or hot steam cleaning.
Being used over the ages as everything from love charms to symbols of royalty status, this member of the quartz family became the February birthstone in the 20th century. It’s a very durable and great-looking gem that helps people today have a royalty look at an affordable price.
Amethyst Color, Shapes, and Sizes
Amethyst is the most precious quartz mineral and comes in a few distinct colors including violet, purple, rose, lavender, and mauve. When it comes to value, the most valuable color is that of a deep purple with tinges of violet. There are many gemstones that are similar in consistency to Amethyst, one of them is Citrine.
Amethyst is a relatively hard substance. It is rated a 7 on the Mohs scale which means it is a great stone to make ornamental jewelry out of. However, it should be noted that Amethyst can fracture when hit with too much force, even though it has a rating of 7 on Mohs scales it is still 1/15 the hardness of a diamond.
Amethyst can come in many sizes and while jewelry grade, Amethyst is very rare, other types of Amethyst can be meters long. Yes, meters long. For instance, Amethyst was founded in Mexico in 1900. It measured 33 feet and weighed over 8 tons. However, the largest jewelry grade Amethyst stones found is usually about the size of a fist, some weighing about 700 carats.
Amethyst can be found all around the world, however, the major deposits of Amethyst are found in southern Brazil, Uruguay, and Madagascar. Amethyst found in Southern Brazil is usually light violet. Uruguay Amethyst is the most beautiful but can have blemishes. The Amethyst in Madagascar is usually red in color. Amethyst is also found in parts of Germany and in Russia, located by the Ural Mountains.
Amethyst – The History and Origins
Amethyst has been known to man for millennia and was popular with the Ancient Greeks, as well as the Ancient Egyptians.
It was believed to have magical qualities by the Ancient Greeks and Romans, chiefly to prevent intoxication. Many Greeks and Romans either wore rings with Amethyst stones or drank from cups jeweled with Amethyst.
Amethyst is also a birthstone. Today, Amethyst is given as a gift to signify any birth in February. February birthdays are associated with the astrological sign Aquarius and Pisces. Amethyst is also known as the symbol of understanding of thought or philosophy. Today, many in the Catholic Church wear rings made with Amethyst to accent this attribute.
In Greek mythology, Amethyst was created by the god Dionysius, the god of intoxication. The mythology states that Dionysus was angered due to a human insulting her. She swore that the next human that crossed her path would be turned to stone. Unfortunately, a beautiful girl Amethyst was coming to Dionysus to pray to her, she was turned to stone (actually crystallized quartz). Dionysus drank wine because she was so upset and then cried many tears of wine onto the stone statue of Amethyst until it turned purple. This purple crystallized quartz is what we now call Amethyst.
Amethyst is mined in many countries including South America, Africa, and Australia. The darker purple Amethyst is found in small sizes in Australia and while South America presents most of the larger gemstones, the quality of color in the smaller sizes is found primarily in Africa. The finest Amethyst can be found in India, Sri Lanka, and Brazil.