Jewellery A-Z

February’s Birthstone: Amethyst

LILACS, LAVENDERS AND VIOLETS

The February born shall find
Sincerity and peace of mind,
Freedom from passion and from care,
If they an amethyst will wear
Anon.

The amethyst is both the gemstone of the month of February and the 3rd wedding anniversary. It is a variety of quartz identified by its distinctive purple colour which can range from deep violets to pale lilacs and can also exhibit red and blue hues.

This ethereal gemstone has had a very long and interesting history since the Classical Age. It was first perceived as a sobriety stone as it was believed in ancient Greek though that drinking from amethyst studded goblets would prevent drunkenness and overindulgence. Indeed, the name ‘amethyst’ itself derives from the Greek word amethystos meaning ‘not intoxicated’. The amethyst continued to symbolise protection and focus throughout the Medieval Age where soldiers believed that wearing the gem would keep them focused in battle.  The amethyst has also been labelled as the stone of St. Valentine who is said to have worn an amethyst engraved with the figure of Cupid. In early modern Europe, the rich purples of amethyst lead to its associations with royalty and wealth as the dyes used for purple materials at the time were expensive to produce. Meanwhile, in Arabic tradition, the amethyst was believed to prevent nightmares and evil thoughts.

Amethyst Bracelet Amethyst Pendant

As a result of its history, the amethyst today is associated with multiple qualities such as stability, peace, courage, focus, royalty, romance and affections. This makes amethyst jewellery the perfect gift to anyone you would like to express your love to or protect against negative thoughts.

The best ways to maintain the beauty of amethyst jewellery is to keep it away from high temperatures and intense bright lights as this could cause discolouration. Amethysts should be cleaned gently with a soft cloth and warm water.

FUN FACTS

  • The amethyst fades to a yellow colour when exposed to sunlight over a long period of time.
  • The Queen is usually seen wearing an amethyst brooch from the Kent Amethysts set.
  • Brazil is the source of the largest and purest amethyst crystals but they are also found in Africa, Russia, Canada and parts of the USA.
  • In 1993, a nine-foot cavern in Maine was found to have contained more than a ton of amethyst crystal.

 

If you would like to explore further about different gemstones, take a look at our Gemstone Guide.