February’s Birthstone: Amethyst

Amethysts are a stunning variety of quartz with a fascinating history.

The birthstone for the month of February, amethysts are a popular purple gemstone for good reason. Not only are they beautiful, but amethysts can be quite affordable, owing in large part to the fact they are mined in abundance.

Amethyst. Photo: James St. John

Amethyst Color

While they do occur in a variety of colors, Amethysts are most commonly associated with the color purple. Siberian amethysts are typically the deep, rich purple that many associate with the gemstone. Lavender, lilac, and lighter purple hues are also common.

Amethysts’ range of colors can also include light pink colors, with secondary colors such as blues and reds.

Amethyst Significance

Amethysts are thought to offer protection to the wearer. They are often used to help relieve stress and anxiety, believed to alleviate fatigue and headaches and bring about tranquility.

In addition to protection and stress relief, amethysts are associated with spiritual wisdom and even humility.

Tibetans create prayer beads from amethysts, because they believe the gemstone is sacred.

Amethyst History

Ancient Greeks believed amethysts could ward off intoxication, which is why they carved many wine goblets out of the gemstone.

Amethysts are also considered among the 5 Cardinal Gems, historically prized above all others and used as symbols of royalty. In fact, at one point in history, only royals were allowed to wear amethysts in England.

Amethyst Facts

Ancient Greeks believed amethysts could ward off intoxication.

The word "amethyst" comes from a Greek word meaning "sober."

Amethyst is the official gemstone of South Carolina.

Amethysts are mined in abundance in Brazil and Uruguay, as well as in South Korea, Austria, Zambia, Siberia, Canada, and the U.S.

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