For those of you who appreciate the finer things in life, it’s time to honor the regal birthstone of February: the amethyst. Through the ages, this dazzling purple member of the quartz family has been used for everything from love charms to symbols of royalty.
Amethyst is available in a wide range of sizes and shapes, including very large sizes. According to the American Gem Trade Association website, the Smithsonian Institution has an amethyst that weighs more than 1,000 carats. It’s no surprise that the very large sizes in rich, deep colors are rare.
February’s birthstone is commonly associated with sobriety and spirituality. This beautiful purple stone also stands for wisdom and security. The ancient Egyptians believed amethyst could keep a person from being poisoned. In medieval times, amethyst was often put under the pillow to cure insomnia and bring pleasant dreams. Medieval churchmen used amethyst rings and jewels to promote divine revelations and wisdom, since amethyst was considered a symbol of Christian love and sacrifice. Amethyst also was said to enhance courage and creativity, to promote intuition, psychic development and even self-esteem, to deflect anger, and protect the wearer against evil.
Amethyst is tough and durable and wears well. Make sure to clean your amethyst jewelry with mild dish soap and use a toothbrush to scrub behind the stone where dust can collect. Avoid exposure to high heat, which may cause its color to fade. For more jewelry care and cleaning tips check out our Gemstone Guide or AGTA’s consumer website.
Designers celebrate amethyst as an ideal gemstone for jewelry because of its royal color, variety of sizes and shapes, affordability, and wide tonal range, from pale lavender to dark purple. Amethyst complements both warm and cool colors so it looks right set in both yellow and white metals and complements almost every color in your wardrobe.
What do you like most about your February birthstone?