The Gem. A member of the quartz family, amethyst has captured eyes since ancient times. Ranging in color from a delicate, nearly colorless violet to deep, rich purple, the amethyst stone crowns the month of February as the official birthstone.
The amethyst obtains its color from the presence of iron in its natural environment—this element is responsible for giving the stone its purplish hue. But depth of color comes from radiation—either by natural radioactive heating forces within the earth, or by heat treatment (irradiation) by a jewelry specialist.
Amethysts are not highly rare, but deep purple, gem-quality stones are. Brazil boasts a treasure trove of amethysts, but South Korea, Russia, India, Zambia, and Austria are also major producers.
Amethyst In History And Lore. The name amethyst comes from the Greek word amythtos, which means “not intoxicated.” Ancient societies such as the Greeks and Romans believed that amethyst protected one against drunkenness, thus it was common in jewelry and the making of drinking vessels. Some also sprinkled ground amethyst into vessels holding wine to protect the drinkers from the effects of overindulgence. Amethyst was also thought to guard a person from seduction and even to save crops from the attack of pests.
During medieval times, soldiers donned amethyst stones to protect them as they went into battle. The gem was also favored by priests and clergy as it was known to symbolize piety.
Biblical Significance. In addition to the amethyst’s legendary protective properties, the stone was given great significance in the Biblical text. Beginning in the book of Exodus the amethyst was used to adorn the garments of priests serving in the temple. Amethyst represented one of the twelve tribes of Israel. Later in the book of Revelation, the amethyst is mentioned as one of the stones that will adorn the walls of the New Jerusalem.
As special and significant as it is stunning, the amethyst stone is a perfect gift for a February birthday!
Our Favorite February Birthstone Gifts
Amethyst and Black Diamond Royal Pendant in .925 Sterling Silver. (Above Left) Strong colors incorporated into a feminine design make this pendant both bold and captivating yet gentle and delicate. The center oval-cut amethyst stone of this beautiful piece weighs nearly four carats and measures 10mm. The surrounding 22 black diamonds, set in sterling silver, total 0.22 carats and give the pendant its unique floral look. The pendant comes with an 18’’ rope chain in gold-plated .925 sterling silver.
Double Pear Shape Drop Earrings with Amethyst. (Above right) These funky earrings feature a 5.5mm amethyst incorporated into a sterling silver wire teardrop design. Perfect for any age, these earrings are both fashionable and affordable—a perfect way to remember and celebrate a February birthday.
Rustic Amethyst Ring in Sterling Silver. (Left) This ring is a perfect match to the earrings above—both feature a rustic, patina-finished sterling silver with loops and coil shapes. The ring also stands alone as an attractive everyday piece. Trendy and fun, this ring is perfect for a younger wearer. Its amethyst stone measures 11mm x 9mm.
Browse more Apples of Gold Amethyst Jewelry
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Category: Jewelry History