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February Birthstone – Amethyst

Brief Guide to February Birthstone

Amethyst is the February birthstone. This gemstone is thought to impart clarity of mind, health, luck and wit to its wearers. In ancient times it was a symbol of peace.

Amethyst is actually a variety of quartz. It is a popular stone and is the most valuable stone of all the quartz varieties. Large, almost gigantic crystals of amethyst can be found in Brazil. Amethyst is purple because of small amounts of iron in the quartz. When exposed to heat amethyst will turn yellow.

Amethyst was thought, in ancient times, to be an antidote against drunkenness as the Greek word amethystos means not drunken. They had many wine goblets carved from amethyst for that reason. Amethyst was also thought to be a symbol of understanding.

February is often thought of as a desolate month, filled with the coldest weather the year has to offer, just before the cusp of Spring, but there is much to be loved about this second month. A birthday in February means, for many, being surrounded on one’s fondest day by the white skies and whiter grounds of snowfall, and it could even mean some day’s off from school for those of that particular age. February is the month for celebrating the birthdays of George Washington and Abe Lincoln, as well as being long known as Black History Month. Here is a look at the birthstones for February.

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February Modern and Traditional Birthstone

Once considered to be more precious and valuable than even the diamond, the purple amethyst has a history of being the favored gem for those in royalty. A person lucky enough to receive an amethyst as their birthstone can count themselves as a member of a certain kind of royalty as they wear and engage their amethyst jewelry with the pride of a queen. The word itself is derived from the Greek word for “sober”, and the gem has been long known to provide protection against intoxication. Amethysts have also long been associated and used in the ceremonies and symbolism of the church. With a gem known for its revered status among both the clergy and the royal families, one could hardly complain about having the amethyst as their birthstone.

February Alternate Birthstone

The black onyx is not only the alternate birthstone for the month of February, but is also the known gem for a couple’s tenth wedding anniversary. Plenty of lore surrounds the onyx, as it has been known to have a positive effect on the wearer’s bad habits. It is also said that the onyx carries with it the power to organize a chaotic life, as well as bringing focus and concentration to a mind that is scattershot and forgetful. But it is the black pearlescent color of the gem itself that draws many to wear it as jewelry. Few are the truly black gemstones, and onyx takes up the mantle of this dark color with aplomb.

Birthstone Overview

The amethyst is the February birthstone and, in finer quality examples, is a beautiful purple color. The color purple, of course, is the color of royalty, and has been much in demand throughout history. Fine Amethysts have been placed in the crowns of royalty as well as other fine jewelry for hundreds of years. So as the february birthstone maybe the amethyst confers just a bit of royalty onto its wearer. Such as this beautiful, very expensive piece:

Birthstone powers: Brings peace and calm to your life

Alternative February Birthstone: Bloodstone

Amethyst is the birthstone for the month of February and the traditional anniversary gemstone for the sixth of marriage. Once considered more valuable than diamonds, this member of the quartz member occurs naturally as crystals within rocks. The stones are mined in Brazil, Uruguay, Sri Lanka, Madagascar, Zambia, Australia and in the mountains of Russia. American amethysts are mined in Maine, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Montana and Colorado. Amethyst from Maine is usually dark with North Carolina amethyst having a bluish tint unique to that area.

Amethyst can lighten if exposed to strong sunlight for a long time. When heated to 550-560 Centigrade, the color changes to dark yellow or reddish brown. (They are then called citrines. These are more richly colored and more expensive then natural citrines.) Ideally deep medium purple with rose-colored flashes, amethysts generally range in hue from pale lilac to nearly black purple. Since purple has always been the color of royalty, amethysts abound in the ornaments of in the British Crown Jewels and in the adornments of the ancient Greeks and Egyptians, as well.

They have been found in ruins dating as far back as the ninth century, adorning royal jewelry, scepters, and crowns.The intense violet hue of February's birthstone appealed to early monarchs, perhaps because they often wore this color as a symbol of their elevated position. Purple dye was once scarce and expensive, so it was reserved for the garments of royalty, and the color came to symbolize power and status.

Sobering Thoughts with Amethyst: The Greeks believed that whoever wore an amethyst or drank from an amethyst cup would not become intoxicated. In fact, the word amethyst is derived from the Greek word "amethystos," meaning sober. In ancient Greece, the gemstone was associated with the god of wine, and it was common practice to serve this beverage from Amethyst goblets in the belief that this would prevent overindulgence. It was also claimed that amethyst had a sobering effect on those "drunk" on love's passion. Even today, amethyst is considered a stabilizing force for those struggling to overcome addictive behaviors.

In general, the gemstone is believed to be a calming, tranquil influence that symbolizes peace.

Amethyst and Prayer: Amethyst is symbolic of piety, spirituality, and a devotion to God. The rich purple gemstones are used worldwide to ornament churches and crosses used in religious ceremony, and they frequently found in the rings and on the rosaries worn by bishops and priests. It is also believed that amethysts bring on pleasant dreams because they allow you to "channel" positive universal energy. As a result many people place an amethyst under their pillow before going to sleep at night to enjoy "sweet dreams" throughout the night.