If you’re wondering what is February’s birthstone, you’ve come to the right place. In this Diamond Nexus blog, we’ll tell you all about stunning amethyst birthstone, the gorgeous purple gem associated with the second month of the year.
From its history and meaning to its strength and wearability, you’ll find everything that you need to know about the captivating amethyst stone.
Amethyst Meaning and History
Wine-like in color, the ancient Greeks associated the amethyst stone with Bacchus, the god of wine. However, the purple gemstone was worn to kick bad habits, not indulgence. The name “amethyst” comes from the Greek word “amethystos” which translates to “a remedy against drunkenness”. The trend caught on, and people still wear amethyst gemstones to guide them on their journey to sobriety today.
February birthstone jewlery was adored by royals throughout history including the likes of Russia’s Katherine the Great and Wallis, Duchess of Windsor who both were spotted wearing lavish amethyst birthstone jewelry. Fitting, considering that the color purple is long associated with royalty. What’s more, the violet gemstone is also said to bestow a number of mystical properties unto the wearer, including enhanced personal empowerment and inner strength.
Additionally, amethyst is also the traditional stone gifted for the sixth wedding anniversary.
Where Is Amethyst Found?
While the most coveted shade of amethyst is deep violet, the amethyst gemstone is available in a wide array of hues including light pink, blue-ish purple, and reddish-purple, depending upon the light. This purple color stone is a variety of quartz, the second most abundant mineral found within the earth’s crust.
Russia was the most prominent source of amethyst up until the 19th century when a massive supply of the crystal was discovered in Brazil. That being said, much of today’s amethyst comes from places like Africa and South America.
One particularly stunning display of amethyst is in Bolivia’s Anahi mine, home to the rare bicolored amethyst-citrine crystal referred to by gemologists as “ametrine”.
Amethyst crystals can also be found in the U.S., just outside of Pheonix, Arizona. Although the desert landscape can be challenging for miners, the Four Peaks Amethyst mine produces some of the world’s finest dark purple and purplish-red stones.
How to Care for Amethyst
The amethyst birthstone ranks as a 7 on the Mohs scale of hardness, a ranking system used to determine a gemstone’s strength in comparison to a diamond. This rating means that amethyst is suitable for rings and custom jewelry and can handle daily wear and tear within reason. That being said, amethyst is less durable than gemstones used in other traditional birthstone jewelry pieces such as rubies, sapphires, and of course, diamonds.
Amethyst gemstones can be cleaned using an ultrasonic cleaner; however, experts from the Gemological Institute of America(GIA) recommend simply soaking the piece in a solution of warm water mixed with mild dish soap instead. Then, remove any remaining debris using a soft bristle toothbrush.
As far as color goes, amethyst can be susceptible to fading when exposed to excessive heat and strong light. Some amethyst gems are heat-treated to further enhance their naturally purple hue or to turn the stone yellow, where it will then be sold as citrine. While heat treatment is a common method used to improve a gemstone’s overall beauty, it can also make it more brittle. This is important to consider when shopping for amethyst jewelry.
How to Wear a February Birthstone
Whether you’re a compassionate Pisces or a free-spirited Aquarius – or if you’re shopping for someone born in the month of February – there are endless ways to flaunt the deep purple birthstone.
If fine jewelry is your jam, you can’t go wrong with a fun pair of amethyst earrings or a classic pair of studs. Add to the ensemble with a funky birthstone pendant or a flashy amethyst bracelet that’s sure to catch eyes. If you’re looking for an accessory that is always evolving, opt for a charm bracelet where you can feature gorgeous amethyst paired with a zodiac charm of your choice.
If you have your eye on an amethyst wedding ring or engagement ring, you’re in luck. As mentioned above, amethyst is strong enough to endure daily wear. However, that doesn’t mean that you can be careless with these pieces. Always be mindful to keep your amethyst stones safe when worn in a ring setting by removing the piece before partaking in strenuous activities like working out and cleaning around the house. What’s more, a diamond engagement ring featuring amethyst side or accent stones offers the best of both worlds while guaranteeing a totally unique design.