February's Birthstone Amethyst: Fun Facts

Every gemstone has its story and so does amethyst. Let's get into some interesting facts about this picturesque gemstone.

Amethyst Gemstone

AMETHYST BIRTHSTONE

  • Amethyst is the birthstone for February and the traditional birthstone for the zodiac sign Aries. 
  • Amethyst is also the 63rd anniversary stone. It is often given as a wedding gift and symbolizes marital harmony.

AMETHYST MEANING

  • The gem name amethyst comes from Ancient Greek mythology. It was once thought that Amethyst was the Greek name for the Greek word "agaros," which means 'red' or 'violet.'
  • Some believe that the name "amethyst" originates from the Greek word "amethystos," meaning "sober" or "not intoxicated." The ancient Greeks claimed that amethyst quartz saved them from drunkenness. To this day, you can find cups made from amethyst quartz designed to protect the drinker from drunkenness.

AMETHYST MINING

  • Amethyst is a purple variety of quartz. It is the most precious variety and is also the most expensive. Amethyst is a very rare variety of quartz mined for approximately 6,000 years for ornamental uses and mining practices continue due to its lovely color and distinctive shape. 
  • The majority of amethyst rock deposits come from gem mines in Brazil and Uruguay. Light amethyst are mostly found in Brazil, while the most beautiful and top of the line, deepest amethyst purple stones are found in Uruguay.
  • According to the official website of India, there are more than 30,000,000,000 Amethyst crystal stones in this country alone.
  • Amethyst stones are often found on the ocean floor but have also been found in lava flows.

GROWING AMETHYST 

  • It takes several years to grow a single Amethyst gemstone. Some amethyst crystals are grown in one year's time, however, most tend to take between five and ten years before ready for retail.
  • Amethyst crystals can grow up to eight feet in length!

AMETHYST COLORS

  • The preferred color of Amethyst for jewelry buyers is typically violet-pink to lilac purple. Amethyst's natural hue is almost black in color, with a medium pink hue that fades to lavender.
  • Black amethyst is the rarest color, but in fact, it is not black, but a medium dark purple color. 
  • The color of amethyst is due to impurities that occur during its growth.
  • The color purple was traditionally the color of royalty, and amethyst stones adorned the richest and most powerful monarchs and rulers.

AMETHYST PROPERTIES

  • Amethyst is a variety of quartz, and therefore has a rough surface. It has been found in a number of different types of rocks, though most are in rocks with a high quartz content, like the granite. 
  • Most amethyst gems are about as large as soft pebbles, and the largest (the Garnet) weighs about 15 pounds. 
  • Amethyst gems rate a 7 on the Mohs scale, which means they are extremely scratch-resistant.
  • A soft stone with a hardness of 7 to 7.5, amethyst is among the softer gemstones.
  • Amethyst stones are usually transparent, but they can contain inclusions that make them cloudy (opaque).
  • The brightest of amethysts (the largest amethysts) shine at around 7,400 degrees Fahrenheit.

AMETHYST HEALING PROPERTIES

  • The amethyst gem is made up of crystals formed from a brilliant inner shell of calcite. The amethyst gem protects the soft outer layer of the skin as it absorbs light. Amethyst balances aggression and emotions. Amethyst can be worn as jewelry, and it is also known to increase feminine energy as it balances the masculine energy.
  • Feng Shui incorporates amethyst rocks. It is advisable to use these stones in the Knowledge & Wisdom area (Northeast area). There it works to reduce stress, increase self-love, enhance meditation and promote healthy sleep.

AMETHYST PRICE

  • In the 19th century, the picturesque Amethyst gemstone was almost as valuable as rubies and emeralds. This all changed when Brazil found huge quantities of the now semi-precious gemstone.
  • The price of amethyst quartz is modest. Amethyst remains affordable as price per carat does not rise dramatically with larger size.

AMETHYST HISTORY

  • Amethyst rings are traditionally worn by Bishops; some believe that amethyst brings good luck to petitioners.
  • The English revered the stone for its majestic properties — creating emblems and insignia featuring amethysts during the Middle Ages to symbolize royalty.
  • The Ancient Greeks believed that amethysts were fragments of the gods' weapons, such as lightning bolts and thunderbolts, that fell to earth after battles
  • This beautiful purple gemstone has played a prominent role in art, religion and culture for thousands of years – some experts even believe that Cleopatra used amethyst during her reign.

BIRTHDAY GIFTS

  • Amethyst is the birthstone of February, making amethyst jewelry a special birthday gift for those who were born in this month. It is the official birthstone for the month of February and the official gem for those born under the sign of Pisces.

ANNIVERSARY GIFTS

  • Celebrate your anniversary milestones with Amethyst. The amethyst gemstone is the official gemstone marking 6th & 17th wedding anniversaries. 

VALENTINE'S DAY JEWELRY 

  • Combining natural beauty and positive crystal energy, amethyst makes a great Valentine's Day gift. It's said that Saint Valentine, the patron saint of romantic love, wore an amethyst ring decorated with a portrait of Cupid.

AMETHYST JEWELRY CARE

  • Amethyst jewelry is best cleaned with warm, sudsy water and a tightly woven microfiber or other soft cloth. After cleaning & drying, place each piece of amethyst jewelry individually wrapped in a smooth fabric or lined bag to prevent scratching.

AMETHYST FUN FACTS

  • When amethyst is heated it turns colors that vary from bright goldenrod, to amber, orange or brown and is sold as "citrine."
  • Occasionally, a rare gift from nature occurs when the presence of amethyst and citrine occur in the same quartz gemstone, resulting in an ametrine.

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