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Behind the Birthstone: Amethyst for February

A gemstone commonly associated with royalty thanks to its purple coloring, amethyst has been used to symbolize deep love, happiness, humility, sincerity, and wealth for centuries. Renaissance Europeans even thought it calmed lovers overrun by passion. If you celebrate a February birthday, then wearing an amethyst can be a symbol of personal empowerment and inner strength.

Aquarius, Pisces’ and those celebrating a sixth wedding anniversary can find a wide selection of amethyst jewelry to add to their wishlist. To help celebrate this gem, we’ve rounded up a few fun facts and some new arrivals to for gifting inspiration.

  • A type of quartz, amethyst gets its purple hue from small amounts of iron and aluminum in its crystal structure.
  • Cut amethyst is often graded using the terms: Siberian, Uruguayan or Bahain, representing high, medium and low-grade stones regardless of the actual mining location.
  • This gemstone’s color ranges from pinkish purple to a deep royal purple with elements of blue or red.
  • Amethyst commonly has layers or color variants, so the way the gemstone is cut is important to the way the color shows in a finished piece.
amethyst necklace and barbara biel heart ornaments
  • Once as rare as ruby or emerald stones, amethyst’s availability increased with the discovery of large deposits in Brazil.
  • Today, the most important sources of amethyst are in Africa (especially the Kariba mine is Zambia) and South America.
  • Brazil is still a major supplier, especially its southernmost state, Rio Grande do Sul, though the rough amethyst mined there tends to have a lighter color and sometimes forms in hollow, crystal-lined geodes so large you can stand in them.
  • The Anahí mine in Bolivia is another prominent source for amethyst. This site is legendary in gem circles as the source of the unusual bicolored amethyst-citrine crystals called ametrine.
  • The patron of romantic love, St. Valentine, wore an amethyst ring carved with the image of Cupid.
  • It was believed to prevent intoxication—amethystos means “not drunk” in ancient Greek.
  • On the flip side, because of its wine-like coloring, it was associated with the Greek god of wine Bacchus in early mythology.
  • In ancient and medieval times, gems like amethyst were also believed to keep the wearer clear-headed and quick-witted in battle and business affairs.

For more amethyst facts, treatment and care tips visit our gemstone guide and browse below for necklaces, rings, earrings and bracelets sure to put a smile on any February babies’ face.

Amethyst Jewelry

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