Amethyst is the purple variety of the quartz and the most valued member of the quartz family. The purple color can range from a light lilac to a deep, intense royal purple, and from brownish to vivid. Amethyst also commonly shows what is called color zoning, which in the case of amethyst usually consists of angular zones of darker to lighter color.
Found predominantly in the volcanic rock of Brazil, Uruguay and Mexico, this natural, geological sorcery also takes place in veins found in South Korea, Austria, Zambia, India, and the granitic rocks of Russia.
The February birthstone, amethyst, is said to strengthen relationships and give its wearer courage. At one time, only royalty could wear the gem. Amethyst is prized for its associated qualities of peace, courage, stability, sincerity, and strength that apparently is bestowed upon the wearer. Aside from the aesthetic value, this gorgeous stone encourages creativity and spirituality while fully embracing the essence of love and passion.
- The name “amethyst” comes from the Greek word “amethystos,” which means “sober” or “not drunken.” Amethyst was considered to be a strong antidote against drunkenness, which is why wine goblets were often carved from it
- Green quartz is sometimes incorrectly called green amethyst, which is a misnomer and not an appropriate name for the material, the proper terminology being prasiolite. Other names for green quartz are vermarine or lime citrine.
- One of the oldest surviving crowns with amethyst jewels is the “Iron Crown of Lombardy” from Italy. With a legend, the crown contains a band of iron from the crucifixion nails of Christ. Set with twenty-two gemstones the crown dates to the early Middle Ages. The golden crown is decorated with seven red garnets, seven blue sapphire, four violet amethysts and four gems made of glass.
- One of the largest Amethyst mines in the world is in Maissau in Austria and is unusual in that it is open to the public
- The Ancient Egyptians worked amethysts into amulets as both a form of prayer and protection against harm.
- The bible describes amethyst in the Aarons Breastplate in the book of Exodus 28: 19; 39:12 as the third stone of the third row in Aarons Breastplate. With the gem representing the Israeli Tribe of Dan. The Hebrew gave Amethyst the name Ahlamah or dream stone.
- Amethyst’s use in rudimentary jewelry can be traced back as far as the Neolithic period (approximately 4,000 BC) and samples of it set into gold rings have been uncovered in burial sites from around 2,400 BC.
- The largest amethyst mine in North America is located in Thunder Bay, Ontario.
- 7 on the Mohs hardness scale
Here are some of your favorite celebrities born in February: Rihanna, Christine Brinkley, Bob Marley, Chris Rock, Ashton Kutcher, James Dean, Jennifer Aniston, Laura Dern, Sheryl Crow, The Weekend, Paris Hilton.