The history and origin of the February birthstone Amethyst.
Amethyst is the official birthstone for February. Prized for its deep purple colour, Amethyst remains a popular choice for jewellery. For anyone born in February, Amethysts carry significant meaning. Our post today reveals the origin and background of this fascinating gemstone. While Amethysts remain hugely popular for women’s fashion, few realise the significance of this beautiful gemstone.
What is Amethyst?
Amethyst is a form of the mineral Quartz. While many people associate Quartz with a white, or clear colouration, Amethyst is famed for its exquisite purple colour. Furthermore, Amethyst is the most valuable form of Quartz. In addition to popularity, the affordability of Amethyst makes it a popular choice for a wide range of jewellery styles. Amethyst typically features a primary hue of varying from a light pinkish violet to deep purple. In addition, Secondary hues may be present including red or blue.
Origins of Amethyst
Amethyst comes from many different countries in the world. Most noteworthy, Zambia, produces around 1000 metric tonnes of Amethyst per year. In addition, Brazil and Uraguay produce large quantities. Most noteworthy, Russia produces some of the finest Amethyst, coming from the Ekaterinburg region of near Mursinka. In addition, Amethyst is also mined in both Canada and USA. Siberia produces some of the finest Amethyst, with some of the most prized gemstones referred to as ‘Deep Siberian’ as a result.
Magical properties of the February Birthstone Amethyst
Amethystos or Amethustos means “not intoxicated” in Ancient Greek. The belief existed that you could drink throughout the night and stay sober provided you carried an amethyst within your mouth or upon your person.
Plato lunior made reference to an Amethyst inscribed with an image of Dionysus. A connection to its sobering properties in connection with drinking.
The French poet Remy Belleau created a story in 1576 in a collection of poems relating to gemstone properties. The tale recounts the actions of the Greek God Bacchus. The maiden Amethyst was turned into a clear stone through the protection of the goddess Diana. The god of wine Bacchus poured wine over Amethyst, staining her a deep shaped of violet.
In early Christianity, the purple colour led to associations with Christ. Both healing powers and calming properties became connected to Amethyst.
In addition, Tibetans connect Amethyst to Buddha as a sacred stone. As a result, prayer beads made of Amethyst lend themselves to both prayer and meditation for Buddhists.
Amethyst for love and Valentine’s Day?
Amethyst has strong connections with Valentine’s Day. As the February birthstone, it stands to reason that Amethyst will be popular on February 14th. Gemstones with pink, purple and red stand out for Valentine’s Day proposals. Amethyst, worn on the hand of St. Valentine featured an image with the likeness of Cupid. While Amethyst relates strongly to the virtues of calmness in the face of passion, it was considered to be a virtue in Medieval times. While Amethyst signified true love, it offered protection to warriors in battle.
Amethyst blends beautifully with blue sapphires and contrasts equally well against the dazzling whiteness of a diamond.
Deep purple – Prized Amethysts in Bespoke Jewellery
The February birthstone Amethyst takes pride-of-place in bespoke jewellery design. Large Amethysts make an affordable large gemstone. Positioned between accented diamonds, a beautifully cut Amethyst makes a striking statement. This is especially relevant for gemstones with deep purple hues.
Surrounded by diamonds, this floral designed Amethyst and diamond ring makes a striking impact, set with a large oval cut deep-purple Amethyst.