February's Birthstone: The Beautiful Amethyst
March 3rd, 2017
Amethyst became the official February birthstone in 1912. This purple gemstone is a symbol of wealth, happiness, and deep devotion. Historically, farmers believed that wearing this stone as a necklace would protect their crops from weather and insects.
Amethyst is the most valuable form of quartz. This stone varies in color from a deep purple to a lighter lilac or mauve. The most valuable hue is a medium tone with pinkish undertones. Because of the color, it has been a favorite of royalty for thousands of years, and it is also known as the 'jewel of the gods.'
Most amethysts are mined in Brazil and Uruguay. Smaller mines are also located in the United States, Canada, Mexico, and Russia.
- A diamond is 10 on the Mohs scale of hardness, and talc is a 0. Comparatively, amethyst is a 7 on the scale.
- Not only is the jewel the February birthstone, it is also the official gem for the Pisces astrology sign.
- In Hebrew, the jewel name contains the root 'dream.' This connection led people to believe that the gem could bring good dreams. Anyone who dreamt of the stone would be protected from harm.
- 'Amethystos' is the Greek derivative of the word, meaning 'not drunk.' Thus, the gem was thought to have the power to keep people from becoming intoxicated while wearing it.
- Egyptians also attributed positive powers to the gem. They placed these jewels in tombs, and it was thought to make people smarter, protect from witchcraft, and keep people alert.