February's Birthstone Amethyst: Fun Facts
Every gem has its story and so does amethyst. Let's get into some interesting facts about this picturesque gemstone.
- Amethyst is the birthstone for the month of February and the official gem for those born under the sign of Pisces.
- The Amethyst gemstone is also the gemstone marking 6th & 17th wedding anniversaries.
- 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.
- It's said that Saint Valentine, the patron saint of romantic love, wore an amethyst ring decorated with a portrait of Cupid.
- 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.
- All amethyst rocks are purple. However the intensity of the color determines its value. Top of the line amethysts with a vivid, deep purple color are uncommon and more valuable.
- The majority of amethyst gem deposits come from Brazil and Uruguay. Light amethyst is mostly found in Brazil, while the most beautiful and top of the line, deepest amethyst purple is found in Uruguay.
- Amethyst stones are usually transparent, but they can contain inclusions that make them cloudy (opaque).
- The price of amethyst quartz is modest. Amethyst remains affordable as price per carat does not rise dramatically with larger size.
- Amethyst crystals come in many forms, including:
Amethyst geodes of all sizes
Amethyst geode slices
- Amethyst gemstones rate a 7 on the Mohs scale, which means they are extremely scratch-resistant.
- Heating amethyst crystals creates a citrine. This is sometimes done on purpose for retail.
- 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 jewelry is best cleaned with warm, sudsy water and a tightly woven microfiber or other soft cloth. Place each piece of amethyst jewelry individually in a smooth fabric or lined bag to prevent scratching.