February Birthstone: Amethyst – The Purple Gem [2021]

February Birthstone

Amethyst is one of the most precious gemstones and was accessible only to the royal families because of its rare availability and high cost.  Now it is quite affordable and easily available in a variety of styles, designs, and sizes. This February gemstone has grown in its popularity for offering highly stylish jewelry items.

Amethyst- The Valentine Gemstone

Amethyst is one of the most valuable and oldest gemstones. It is one of the five famous cardinal gems that include diamond, ruby, sapphire, and emerald as the other four gemstones. Amethyst is a beautiful and alluring purple colored gemstone that everyone loves to wear. The eye-catching vibrant color of Amethyst represents royalty, ambitions, luxury, and love.

According to a popular belief St Valentine used to wear the Amethyst ring with an engraved image of Cupid, a God of desire. It was also worn by Church bishops.

Amethyst represents love, affection, trust, and faith.  It gives you peace of mind and is very useful in building a strong relationship between couples. Amethyst keeps you focused and clear. It helps you to face any problem with a calm and clear vision without getting distracted by any emotional feeling.

This February birthstone is available in a variety of shapes and sizes and has multipurpose uses.

Meaning & History of Amethyst

Protection, clarity, and stability are the main features of Amethyst. Apart from being a February birthstone, Amethyst is also a gem for the sixth anniversary. The name ‘Amethyst’ is derived from an ancient Greek word ‘Amethustos’ which means sober. It was believed that amethyst helped to prevent drunkenness, so Greeks used to make drinking cups using amethyst to stay away from intoxication.

In Greek mythology, it was believed that amethyst was a solid crystal that was dyed in purple color by the tears of Dionysus, the god of wine, and celebrations.

In the history of Egypt it was mentioned that in 1901 when some workers were cleaning the tomb of Pharoah Djer, they came across a horrifying moment when they discovered an arm placed into a hole in the wall. When that arm was removed and unwrapped, four bracelets of gold, lazuli, lapis, amethyst were found on the wrist. These bracelets are now available in the Cairo Museum.

In the Old Testament, it is mentioned that amethyst was found on the breastplate of Aaron as one among twelve stones. In the New Testament, Amethyst is the twelfth stone in the Jerusalem foundation.

Where is Amethyst Found?

Amethyst has many sources across the world.

  • The main sources of Amethyst are South and North America and Africa.
  • In the 19th Century, Russia was the main source of amethyst. Large deposits during the time were also found in Brazil.
    • Even now, Brazil is the major supplier of amethyst with approximately 2000-3000 tons of Amethyst extracted every year.
  • Bolivia is the second-largest source of amethyst.
    • Amethyst is hidden in the Pantanal wetland of Anahi mine in Bolivia.
    • This mine is also famous for the source of an unusual bicolored gem ametrine that is a combination of amethyst and citrine crystals.
  • Kariba mines in Zambia, Africa is also one of the largest sources of amethyst.
    • This mine produces a high quality of amethyst in a darker purple shade.
  • Siberian mines in the Ural mountains are considered to be one of the most prominent sources of this precious purple gemstone.
  • 3900 years ago an Egyptian mine Wadi el-Hudi in the eastern desert was a big source of amethyst.
  • Some other countries are also popular sources of amethyst including India, Persia. Arizona, and Phoenix.

How is Amethyst formed?

Amethyst is available inside the nodules. They are also called geodes though there is a subtle difference in the structure of the two gem types. Geodes are formed as bubbles trapped within the volcanic rock while nodules are solid crystals. The outer surface of the rock is hard with a hollow space inside. It is generally oval or circular in shape. This hollow space is filled with liquids containing silicon dioxide or iron in the case of amethyst. Finally, they become quartz. The size of the geodes can be a few centimeters to a big rock.

Amethyst Species

Amethyst, Citrine, and Ametrine are the three popular species belonging to the Quartz family.

  • Amethyst is a purple color crystal whereas Citrine is yellow color quartz. Although they have a similar formation method, they have different colors caused by the difference in the oxidation of iron in both the crystals.
    • In Citrine the iron has oxidized a lot more than amethyst. Citrine is Amythyst plus more temperature and pressure for a much longer time.
  • Despite being forms of quartz, it is rare to find amethyst and citrine in the same location. If found then the gem thus formed is called Ametrine.
    • Ametrine has different zones of colors in a single gem. Different color zones are formed due to different oxidation states within the crystal.

Supposed Benefits of Amethyst

As mentioned earlier, St. Valentine was believed to wear an Amethyst ring with an engraved image of the God of love – Cupid. February is a month of valentine and represents love and faith. So, amethyst is obviously a gemstone of unconditional love and trust.

Amethyst provides you all kinds of healing whether it is physical, psychological, or spiritual. Amethyst can be used as a synonym for healing power. It can be used in healing various ailments. Here we are going to discuss some of them:

Can Amethyst help to unblock Chakras?

The chakra system helps in maintaining the energy center within our bodies. There are mainly seven chakras in our body at specific locations from root to head.

  • Chakras may get disturbed or blocked due to various reasons and can cause different physical or mental ailments.
    • They need to be realigned or unblocked to heal these disorders.
    • Gemstones, in general, have tremendous healing power. They heal by unblocking these chakras.
  • All the chakras are associated with a color like red for root, green for heart, blue for throat, and so on.
    • Generally, the color of the gemstones specifies the particular chakras on which they will effectively work
    • As amethyst is a purple color gemstone it is best suitable for the Third Eye and Crown chakras.
  • If you are feeling very nervous, depressed, suffering from anxiety, or get frightened due to a nightmare, then this could be a sign of blockage of any chakras.
    • If the above symptoms are accompanied by headache and uneasiness then it indicates blockage of Third Eye chakra.
    • You will feel emotional isolation, extreme tiredness, headache, and boredom in case your Crown Chakra gets blocked.
    • Place this purple gemstone on your respective chakra and lie down for some time. Regular practicing this along with meditation and yoga will help to unblock the respective chakras.

Suitable Jewelry for Amethyst

Amethyst can be suitable for any kind of jewelry because of its durability. It is available in very big sizes and can also be cut into any shape so it is perfectly fit for any design and style. Besides, it is a very strong gemstone with a Mohs scale hardness of 7. So, it can be safely used as daily wear jewelry.

If you are using amethyst with metal then it is suggested to use amethyst with yellow or white gold for vintage and modern look respectively. But finally, it is up to your taste which metal you want to use for designing your favorite jewelry.

Irrespective of the type of jewelry, it is suggested to store the article in a place to avoid direct contact with a hard metal that can cause scratch or even break the gem.

How to use Amethyst

There are many styles and ways to use the amethyst for taking the proper benefits of this gemstone.

  • As mentioned above, amethyst is purple that represents the third eye and crown chakras so it is suggested to use amethyst jewelry for the upper part of the body like; earrings, pendant, necklace, the center part of the head separating two sides of the hair, and so on.
  • You can also keep amethyst in your wallet, purse, or pocket and use it as a touchstone when required.
  • You can place it on your desk as it helps you make the right decisions and keep you focused on keeping a stress-free environment all around.
  • You can also take a bath by keeping amethyst in the water. Amethyst charges the water with its healing power and gives you a soothing feeling after a bath.
  • If you are doing yoga or meditation place this healing gemstone beside you
  • You can also charge your chakras by placing the amethyst gemstone in chakra place and lie down for a while. It helps you to totally relax.

Other Gemstones combination with Amethyst?

As amethyst is a form of quartz so its combination with other quartz gems is very classic and beneficial.

  • It combines best with Rose Quartz, Smoky Quartz, Citrine, and Ametrine.
    • A combination of Amethyst and Rose Quartz are very commonly used to encourage sleep. It helps to cure insomnia and other sleeping disorders caused due to mental or physical problems.
  • It also works well with opaque microcrystalline quartz-like Agate, Jasper, and Chalcedony.
  • Amethyst and Malachite combination is used to reduce all kinds of aches and pains and let you feel relaxed.
  • Amethyst with Fluorite is also a superb combination, especially useful for the students to improve concentration.
    • It keeps the students focused on their target and helps to achieve their goals with a clear vision in their mind.

Amethyst Care and Cleaning

Amethyst jewelry can be worn daily as it is a very strong and durable gemstone with a hardness of 7 on the Moh scale.

  • Amethyst is a handle-with-care gemstone as it is more prone to damage if it comes in contact with harder metals or gemstones.
    • Harder materials can cause scratch and even damage the gemstone.
  • Amethyst is very sensitive to the sun rays.
    • The shade of this vibrant purple color gemstone will fade if overexposed to the sunlight. So, never put this gem to direct sunlight for a longer period.
  • Excessive moisture conditions also cause fade in the color of the gemstone.
  • Heat treatment is given to amethyst to improve its color. It can make the dark amethyst lighter and make it attractive.
    • Remember that it can not make pale amethyst darker.
    • Heat treatment also helps to remove brownish inclusion in amethyst.
    • It should be remembered, however, that excessive heat can remove the color entirely and can also damage the quality of amethyst.
  • It is not recommended to wear amethyst regularly on the beachside.
  • The gemstone requires repolishing if used regularly.
  • There are many ways to clean this precious gemstone.
    • The best way is to hold the gem under the fresh and running water of a natural spring.
    • Tap or faucet can be another alternative to clean the jewelry.
    • If required a soft brush with a mild soap can do the same job.
    • After cleaning do not let it dry in the sunlight instead just pat dry with the help of a clean cloth.
    • Cleaning with an ultrasonic cleaner is also a good option but steam cleaning for these precious gemstones is not recommended.

Amethyst Buying Guide

Following are some of the important factors to be considered when buying an Amethyst:

Amethyst Color

Amethyst is a vibrant purple shade gemstone. If the color is not purple then it is not Amethyst.

Amethysts are available in various purple shades with a hint of blue, red, and even brown in some gemstone.

Amethysts with deeper color are the most valuable among all. The most popular amethyst has a strong & deep color without any variation of shades. But deep color more towards black is less valuable.

The finest quality of amethyst crystal was once produced in Siberia, Russia with a rich and strong purple color with red and blue flashes. But now Siberian mines are exhausted and it is no longer a source for the gemstone but Siberian Amethyst is still used to refer to the color of the amethyst.

Rose de France amethyst is a light lilac colored gemstone. It is a very beautiful even-colored amethyst which is mostly found in Brazil. Larger and healthy deposits can be found in various parts of South America and Africa, like Bolivia and Zambia. With the proper cutting of Rose de France various shades of blue and red can be seen through different angles. This optical phenomenon is called pleochroism

Amethysts are very sensitive to sunlight. The color and shades of amethyst can fade irrecoverably if overexposed to sun, moisture, or heat.

Amethyst Cut

Amethyst can be carved into any style and used to enhance the design of any jewelry like; necklace, bracelet, rings, pendants, earrings, etc. The size of the amethyst crystals is very big so that it can be cut into rounds, ovals, marquises, and even cut into very stylish and unique shapes. Because of its big size, it is easily available in a variety of shapes and also in custom cuts. Most of the cutting styles, however, are standard jewelry designs.

Amethyst Clarity

Amethyst is a type of gemstone generally found in a flawless crystal form without any minerals inside the crystal during its formation. Some materials like liquids, gases, or other crystals get trapped inside it during its formation. They are known as inclusion. So, these inclusions are essentially the impurities in the gemstone. Do not buy the amethyst gemstone with an inclusion unless you find it exceptionally attractive.

If the gem color and quality are exceptionally good then gem professionals also ignore the minor inclusions. The gemstone is mostly used for cabochons or cast into beads. High color beads and cabochons are available at a premium cost.

It is very rare to pass amethyst through fracture-filling treatment for improving its clarity.

Amethyst Carat Weight

An eye-clean amethyst is available in 5 carats, 10 carats, or even bigger sizes. Prices of the quartz per carat increase steadily not exponentially as only rare gemstones of large sizes are found with few or no inclusions.

The density of the gemstones also matters along with the carat. For example, a 1-carat emerald is bigger than a 1-carat diamond but a 1-carat sapphire is very small in comparison with these two. So whenever you are going to buy an amethyst or any other gemstone, always prefer physical size over carat weight.

Where to Buy Amethyst

There are many online retailers available that provide you good quality amethysts with various offers. Some of them are James Allen, Blue Nile, Amazon, Zales, Kay, and Jared. These retailers offer you a wide range of amethyst jewelry for almost every occasion. They offer you unique eye-catching designs for your near and dear ones that can add more variety and style to their collections.

All these retailers are popular jewelry brands so you need not worry about the quality of the gemstone. On top of that, most of these online sellers have a 30 days return/refund policy for all the gemstones including amethysts.

Final Thought

Amethyst, the February birthstone gives a very soothing and elegant look to any jewelry article with its vibrant purple shade. The deeper purple shade amethysts are a more expensive form of gemstone. Clarity, cut, and weight also plays a major role in enhancing the quality, value, and cost of this gemstone.

Apart from adding to your beauty, amethyst also offers many health benefits. If you are a jewelry lover born in February and wish to heal your physical and psychological issues, wearing amethyst can help you with its highly effective healing properties.

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