The Meaning, Significance and Symbolism Of The Amethyst, February Birthstone
Those born in the month of February are blessed with Amethyst as their birth gemstone. This stone was believed to ward off the intoxicating and alluring powers of Bacchus by the ancient Greeks and Romans, as well as keep the wearer calm, sharp and quick-witted. The Amethyst is a lovely deep purple, and is among the popular gemstones around the world for its striking beauty, deep color and minimum inclusion. During the Middle Ages, the stone was believed to have symbolized royalty. Today, the Amethyst is prized for the associated qualities of peace, courage, stability, sincerity and strength it is supposed to bestow on the wearer.
Interesting Facts About The February Birthstone
In Greek mythology, a beautiful maiden called Amethystos was known to have rebuffed Dionysus, the god of wine. The legend says that the maiden prayed to the Gods to keep her chaste, resulting in her transformation to a white stone from a maiden. Dionysus, driven by grief, is said to have poured wine on the stone, turning it purple. As a result, the Amethyst is often associated with romance, lust and love.
Etymology Of The February Birthstone
The Amethyst gets its name from Ancient Greek, derived from ‘methustos’ or intoxicated. The stone is believed to protect its wearer from intoxication. The Greeks and Romans wore amethyst on their person and created drinking vessels from the stone to prevent inebriation and intoxication.
Scientific Make up – Composition of The Amethyst
Amethysts are composed of Quartz, the second most abundant material found in the Earth’s crust. Quartz is frequently found lining the insides of geodes, as is the February birthstone, the Amethyst. The amethyst is a transparent variant of silicon dioxide (SiO2), with colors ranging from light mauve to a rich, beautiful purple.
Most scientists believe that the color of the Amethyst is due to its iron oxide content. Others argue that Manganese or Hydrocarbons color the stone deep purple. Amethysts are sensitive to heat. When the stone is heated to 400 or 500 degrees Celsius, it changes color to red or brownish-yellow. Under certain controlled conditions, the stones turn a deep, rich green. A heat treatment can also result in the Amethyst transforming into a naturally occurring yet rare mineral called the Citrine.
Characteristics Of The February Birthstone
The Amethyst possesses a distinct violet color. Most stones range from light pink to dark purple. The most popular tone is a vivid purple flecked with a pink rose hue. Very few stones are homogeneous in their coloring owing to a unique, layered crystal structure. A few stones also exhibit red and blue color tones. The variety of color exhibited by the February birthstone has lead to its global popularity.
The best varieties of the Amethyst gemstone are found in Siberia, Brazil, Sri Lanka, The United States and the Far East. Until the early eighteenth century, the amethyst was accorded a regal status. The amethyst was believed to be a part of the cardinal gemstones, in the same league as the Diamond, Ruby, Emerald and Sapphire. Due to the discovery of extensive deposits of amethyst in Brazil, the stone is no longer considered as precious.
Healing Power Of The February Birthstone
Besides its aesthetic value, the stone is believed to be effective in curing a range of health problems including headaches, arthritis, insomnia, withdrawal symptoms and poor blood circulation. The Amethyst, owing to popular legend is also believed to prevent the wearer from becoming intoxicated. There is a widespread belief that the Amethyst aids in dream recollection after waking.
Historical Importance Of The February Birthstone
According to legend, the signet ring worn by Cleopatra was an Amethyst. The ring was engraved with the figure of Mithras, the Persian deity symbolizing the divine Idea- The Source of Light and Life.
In the fifteenth century, Leonardo Da Vinci extolled the virtues of the Amethyst, particularly its ability to keep one’s thoughts sharp and clear, enabling sound business decisions.
Value Of The Amethyst
Amethyst works as a natural tranquillizer which relieves stress and strain. This February birthstone is known to soothe irritability and balance mood swings and rage. The stone alleviates sadness and grief, activates spiritual awareness and works to purify spaces of negative vibrations. Its rich purple color pairs well with any outfit, traditional or western, and well-cut stones form pendants of expensive necklaces and rings. Amethyst looks good when paired with gold and silver, making this stone a popular choice for pendants and other jewelry.
Those born in February are blessed with a beautiful, rich, vivid violet gemstone that works not only to adorn one’s outfit but has an array of healing abilities for a person’s physical and mental well being. This stone has been revered through the ages and continues to be in demand for its well-cut faces, vibrant color and health benefits.
The Amethyst is the February birthstone which is purple, transparent and from the quartz family. Its name originates from the Greek word amethystos meaning “not drunken” and has long been considered as a curative for those prone to drunkenness. This stems from the legend of a drunken god named Dionysus who pursued a Greek maiden named Amethystos. To remain chaste, Amethystos prayed to the goddess Artemis and in answer, the goddess turned her into a white stone. Remorse overtook Dionysus and is said to have cried tears of wine over it. In so doing, the stone turned purple, hence the Amethyst.
When buying an amethyst as the February birthstone, light is one very important factor that needs to be taken into consideration. The way wavelengths of light strike the human eye will determine how we perceive that light to be. The way these light waves strike the gemstone is also affected by the way a particular stone is cut. It is up to the gem cutter to cut the gem in such a way so that the gem will allow the most possible light to enter and return back up through the top of the stone to reach your eye. The more light, the more brilliant your February birthstone will look. If a stone is too shallow a lot of light will escape through the bottom of the stone while a stone that is too steep will dissipate the light out the side of the stone instead of via the top. Thanks to modern technology and computers gem cutter are now able to design and then review their designs to ensure that a particular design will indeed reflect light out the top or table of the gemstone. Now they can see before cutting that they will most certainly get the right effect and they can also see exactly where they need to cut too.
It is not only light that will make your February birthstone so special. One amazing fact of the amethyst is that each region can produce its own kind of amethyst unique to the area and some are even unique to the mine that they were mined from. Gemologists that know these details are able to tell you exactly which area certain amethyst hails from. Brazil is the primary source for Amethysts today while other fine Amethysts can also be found in Zambia. This February birthstone has been related to many stories, myths and legends through the centuries. It is symbolic of royalty since the color of royalty is purple but most of all you will feel like royalty when wearing this magnificent purple gemstone.
It is worth the effort to take time when choosing an Amethyst. Take all the factors into consideration and you will be well on your way to having one of the most gorgeous February birthstone gifts to give the one you love. This gorgeous blend of purple and red color is pleasing to the eye and will turn heads wherever you go..