Those born in the month of February are fortunate enough to have the gemstone amethyst as their birthstone. Amethyst is a popular gemstone for its vibrant color, rich history, and variety of mystical properties. It is also the gemstone associated with 6th wedding anniversaries. A type of quartz, amethysts come in shades ranging from deep purple to pale, pastel lavender. If you’re a February birthday girl, or are shopping for one, read on to find out what makes amethyst jewelry so alluring.
Amethysts have been treasured since the time of the ancient Greeks. In fact, the origin of this purple gemstone’s name is actually quite intriguing. The name amethyst is derived from the Greek word “amethystos,” which translated means “remedy against drunkenness.” The Greeks associated this gorgeous purple gemstone with the wine god, Bacchus, because of its grape-like color. They believed that wearing an amethyst could protect you from drunkenness, keeping the wearer clear-headed and quick-witted. Wine goblets were made from or decorated with amethyst to ward off the effects of their indulgence.
But the Greeks weren’t the only ones to cherish this glittering gem. Purple has always been considered a regal color, and because of this, amethysts have been seen in religious and royal jewelry. Buddhists believed amethyst powers helped to enhance meditation and used them to make prayer beads. Throughout the ages, powerful and rich monarchs used amethyst as a symbol of royalty. Amethyst was a personal favorite of Queen Catherine the Great of Russia. Today, some amethysts even decorate the British Crown Jewels.
Until the 19th century amethyst was considered to be a precious gemstone alongside diamonds, rubies, sapphires, and emeralds. However, a large deposit of amethyst was found in Brazil, lowering the gemstone’s financial value. Although amethyst is now considered a semi-precious gemstone, the deposit of Brazilian gems has allowed for larger amethysts to be used more frequently in jewelry.
Mystical Properties of Amethyst
Admirers of amethyst prize the gemstone for its symbolism as well as its beauty. The February birthstone is associated with a number of different properties including peace, courage, balance, and inner strength. They are also thought to bring wisdom and protection to the wearer. Leonardo da Vinci once wrote that amethysts enhance intelligence and protect against evil thoughts. Due to its history, amethyst is often regarded as the “sobriety stone,” believed to help treat alcoholism and other addictions. Besides being worn as jewelry, amethyst geodes are also popular household and/or workplace decorations, promoting positive energy and calmness.
How to Care for Amethyst Jewelry
Amethyst is relatively easy to care for. It is ranked 7 out of 10 on the Mohs Scale of Hardness, meaning it is a fairly durable gemstone. This makes amethyst jewelry great for every day wear. Just be careful to avoid prolonged exposure to heat and chemicals as this has the potential to cause the color of your amethyst to fade. Amethyst jewelry can be cleaned with an ultrasonic cleaner and/or steamer; however, the safest cleaning method is to use a soft brush with warm, soapy water.
Looking for Amethyst Jewelry in San Diego?
Whether you need the perfect gift for a February-born loved one or a stunning surprise for your 6th wedding anniversary, you’ll find it at Leo Hamel Fine Jewelers on San Diego Avenue. Our radiant collection of amethyst ranges from delicate stud earrings to mesmerizing amethyst and diamond halo rings, and everything in between! This gorgeous gemstone is sure to make an awe-inspiring gift for anyone in your life, February-born or not!