Your purple birthstone ranges from rich plums to pale lavender. It is the most beloved of all the quartzes and mined worldwide. Amethysts appear in royal jewel collections as well as in most of our personal jewelry collections.
The word amethyst comes from the Greek “amethystos” which means “remedy against drunkenness.” The very literal (in this case) Greeks figured that a purple, wine-colored stone should relate to Bacchus, the god of wine and profligate living. Since they did have a sense of proportionality, they assigned amethyst as a preventative against the consequences of too many bacchanalias. I’m not sure how the stone got assigned to February, but that’s another topic.
Other presumed amethyst powers: The wearer obtains personal empowerment, intelligence, and gets rid of evil thoughts.
The original source of amethyst was Russia. In the 19th century, a huge stash was found in Brazil, which is where we get most of our material from now, although Africa and other parts of South America (Uruguay, Bolivia) have gorgeous material. Amethyst resides in geodes that can be so large we can stand in them! Not to be outdone, Arizona has its own amethyst supply at Four Peaks. There is amethyst in Arizona at Four Peaks, too.
Colors: rich purple with red or blue undertones, depending on the origin source, Brazil’s southern deposits contain lavender material as well as ametrine, the combination of amethyst and citrine that is really stunning in its most beautiful form.
Amethyst, like the other quartzes (citrine, rose quartz, crystal quartz) is relatively inexpensive on the gem price continuum, occurs in large, juicy sizes for jewelry, and complements every skin tone. You don’t have to be a February baby to love and enjoy it. I know lots of great carvers who use it with stunning results.
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