The birthstone of the month of February is Amethyst, a mineral with a bewitching violet hue.
Probably the most famous of gemstones, Amethyst is a quartz that gets its violet colour from traces of iron present in minerals. A cousin of citrine, which is generally found in the same deposits, there are also ametrines, a mixture of the two.
Amethyst is more beautiful in daylight than in artificial light, particularly at sunrise and sunset when the light is soft and warm.
Significance and history
With its fuchsia color, traditionally the color of royalty, it is considered to be "the religious stone par excellence".
In the texts of the Bible, Amethyst is one of the stones in the breastplate of the high priest Aaron (Old Testament), and is also one of those adorning the foundations of the heavenly Jerusalem (New Testament).
Until recently, Amethyst adorned the pastoral ring of Catholic bishops, and Amethysts can be found adorning the jewels of the British Crown.
Amethyst was rare in ancient times. It was only at the beginning of the 20th century that the discovery of large deposits in Brazil and Uruguay made it more accessible.
Leonardo da Vinci was a great admirer of amethysts, writing that they helped him to dispel negative thoughts, improve his concentration and make him more skillful in business.
In Hebrew, it is called ahlama - meaning dream. A dream in which an amethyst appears is considered a very good omen.
Where can I find it? Origin
Amethysts come from three regions of the world where there are several deposits: South America, India and Africa. Brazil, however, is the main producer.
In Bolivia, Amethyst and citrine are found in the same crystal. The unique gems, called ametrine, are half purple and half yellow.
Hardness & Care
Amethyst has a hardness of 7 on the Mohs hardness scale. This means that it is suitable for everyday use in rings and other jewellery, but over time it may show wear and require re-polishing. Because this February birthstone is more susceptible to damage than harder gems such as rubies, sapphires and diamonds, you risk scratching your Amethyst jewellery if you place it next to these harder stones...
Note also that excessive heat can completely eliminate the color and that some amethysts fade with prolonged exposure to strong light. Although the color is stable with normal use, it is not a birthstone to be worn on the beach every day.
Amethyst birthstone jewellery can be cleaned with an ultrasonic cleaner, but steam cleaning is not recommended. A soft brush with mild soap is the safest option.
Amethyst has purifying properties, both for people and places. An Amethyst geode or a few polished amethyst stones placed in a room will purify the atmosphere and bring a feeling of peace and relaxation. It carries positive energies. Worn as jewellery, it cleanses the body of the bad things we can eat.
The ideal metal to go with your Amethyst
Amethyst goes well with both warm and cool colors, and pairs equally well with white, pink or yellow gold, or platinum. Amethyst jewellery will enhance the colors of your wardrobe.