This month is all about Amethyst, a semi-precious stone, and traditional birthstone for the month of February. Amethyst is a variety of quartz coming in brilliant shades of violet. If you celebrate a February birthday, treat yourself to some Amethyst jewelry at our jewelry store in Austin, Texas!
What is the History Behind Amethyst?
The name “amethyst” is derived from Greek- The a– (“not”) and méthystos (“intoxicated”), a reference to the ancient belief that the amethyst gemstones protected the wearer from becoming drunk. (Ancient Greeks actually wore drinking vessels decorated with amethyst with the belief it would prevent them from becoming intoxicated!)
In Europe, medieval soldiers believed that amethyst would heal their wounded and sometimes wore amethyst amulets while going into battle, and amethyst was used by the ancient Egyptians as a gemstone in jewelry, and was largely employed in antiquity for intaglio engraved gems.
What Colors Does Amethyst Come In?
Amethyst can come in a variety of hues, from light pink to the ever-popular violet hue to a deep purple, and may contain hints of red and blue hues. What is known as the “ideal” grade hue is called “Deep Siberian” and has a primary purple hue. True amethyst can fade with exposure to light.
Did you know? Some people incorrectly refer to green quartz as green amethyst, with the proper terminology being prasiolite, vermarine or lime citrine.
How is Amethyst Used in Culture?
Tibetans consider amethyst to be sacred to the Buddha, and often create prayer beads from the stone. In the Middle Ages, Amethyst was considered a symbol of royalty and used to decorate English regalia. In the Old World, amethyst was considered one of the “Cardinal gems,” in that it was one of the five rarest gemstones, considered precious above all other stones. This belief declined when large quantities were found in Brazil. Of course, amethyst is also known culturally as the birthstone for February!
Amethyst can be found in Brazil, Uruagay, Rio Grande, South Korea, Russia, India, Zambia, Canada, and even in the United States in Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and even Texas!
If you were born in February, enjoy the rich, purple hues of your birthstone by wearing an amethyst ring, necklace, or pendant found at your local jewelry store of Austin, Texas! Come and speak with one of our staff about finding the perfect amethyst piece for you or for your February-born loved one.