Are you ready to welcome a purple haze?! February’s birthstone is Amethyst, a stunning purple gemstone that has a lot to say for itself!
The name Amethyst actually comes from the Greek word ‘amesthystos’ which means ‘not intoxicated’ or ‘not drunk’!! It was believed that this stone prevented people from getting tipsy when drinking alcohol, we can’t promise that this is true!! As well as being February’s birthstone it is also Pisces’ traditional birthstone, and traditionally given for 6th and 17th wedding anniversaries, as it’s said to contain the energy of passion and love!
What is Amethyst and where can it be found?
Amethyst is the most valuable crystal in the quartz family. It is formed inside igneous volcanic rocks called basalts, which are created by volcanic lava. These rocks act as vessels that contain minerals and water over time, creating the well-known white-purple crystal formation. The inside walls of the basalt become the base for how Amethyst forms. Amethyst is relatively softer than most precious stones allowing cutters more room for creativity with their artistic designer cuts. Amethysts are also classified as a type 2 gemstone meaning they are usually found with few inclusions. Inclusions within gemstones can be described as any material that is trapped within a mineral at any point of the mineral’s formation. Inclusions can range from gas filled bubbles to insects to fractures and much more.
The intensity of the colour purple, determines its value. Those that are rich and deep in tone are more valuable. The most prized amethyst is a Siberian deep purple with red and blue flares.
Amethysts can be sourced in most continents but Brazil is one of the most active locations for the mining and faceting of this semi precious gemstone. Other places it can be sourced are Africa, United States, Argentina, Uruguay, Russia and Madagascar.
In the Brazilian town of Ametista do Sul, St Gabriel’s Church is decorated with 40 tons of amethyst crystals covering the walls. The baptismal font is crafted from a large amethyst geode.
Amethyst and Royalty.
Amethyst is one of the most adored gemstones by royalty. From ancient times till today, members of royalty from all over the world have used amethysts in their collections. We know that amethysts were Queen Catherine the Great of Russia and Cleopatra’s favourite gemstone, so if you love it you are in good company!! One of the oldest sets of jewels in the Windsor Collection is the amethyst ‘Demi-parure’, which belonged to Queen Victoria’s mother, the Duchess of Kent.
Caring for Amethyst.
Amethyst is fairly durable, and will wear down slowly over generations as the dust in the air is quartz too. The stunning colour is stable but it is best to avoid high heats. To keep rings clean don’t wear them when applying lotions or creams or when using cleaning products. Clean with a mild dish soap and a soft brush behind the stone where dust can gather.
Amethyst is said to be balancing and harmonising. A natural tranquilliser, relieving stress, soothing irritability, balancing mood swings, dispersing anger, alleviating sadness and grief, and dissolving negativity. Who couldn’t do with a little bit of amethyst energy in their life!!! Amethyst is also known to have healing powers especially for headaches, back pain and for the pancreas.
If you are a believer in Feng Shui, the amethyst is typically used in the knowledge and wisdom area to increase self love, reduce stress, enhance meditation and promote healthy sleep.
Apparently amethyst was also used for love spells! It was believed that if someone spoke the name of their love into an amethyst stone, their love would be summoned. Let us know if you give this a go!
Why we love Amethyst!
Amethyst comes in a range of hues from the lightest pastel purple to an intense rich vivid purple with rose coloured flashes inside. It complements both warm and cool colours so it looks right set in both yellow gold, rose gold, white gold and silver. It is such a joyful gemstone to work with, it brightens up any day!
To visit our Amethyst pieces click here, and keep watching, there is more coming soon!!