You don’t need to be a king or queen to enjoy the royal purple hues of amethyst, the February birthstone. Amethyst ranges from pale lilac to deep violet in color and is available in numerous shapes and sizes. The world outside our windows may be bleak and colorless in this wintry month, but the February birthstone is anything but.
Amethyst is the gem used when celebrating two wedding anniversaries: the sixth and the 17th.
The jewel is a type of quartz and it owes its violet hues to irradiation, impurities of iron, and occasionally transition metals. The ideal color grade of amethyst – called Deep Siberian – is a mix of 75 to 80 percent purple hues and 15 to 20 percent blue and red hues.
Sometimes amethyst will form in enormous geodes that are large enough for a person to stand inside.
Throughout the ages, the stone was thought to provide protection from negative energy and would act as a protective barrier for the spirit. Medieval European soldiers would often wear them in amulets as protection on the battlefield.
The word amethyst comes from the Ancient Greek wordamethystos, which translates to “not intoxicated” and refers to the belief that an amethyst would act as protection from drunkenness. Because of the deep purple, wine-like color of amethyst, early Greek mythology also associated the gem with Bacchus, the god of wine.
The major source of amethyst in the world was from Russia until the 19th century, when a large deposit was discovered in Brazil; until that time, it was as valuable as emeralds, sapphires, and rubies.
Amethyst is very scratch resistant with their relatively high hardness of 7 on the Mohs scale. Because of this, it’s a great stone to be used in jewelry for daily use, but it can be damaged by harder stones such as rubies, sapphires, and diamonds.
Some amethyst fade when exposed to strong light for extended periods of time, so avoid wearing your amethyst jewelry to the beach every day. Some alkaline and acid solutions can damage amethyst, so avoid wearing jewelry with amethyst when using household cleaners.
An ultrasonic cleaner is safe for your amethyst jewelry, but steam cleaning should be avoided. The safest way to clean your amethyst jewelry is with a mild soap and a soft brush.
With a range of brilliant hues and its history of providing protection, amethyst is a wonderful way to show someone you love with a February birthday how much you care about them. At Peter Franklin, our customer experience professionals can help you select the February birthstone jewelry that matches your loved one’s taste and lifestyle. Visit our three locations in northeast Indiana in Angola, New Haven and Fort Wayne, andbrowse our selection of amethyst jewelry online.