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AMETHYST JEWELRY – The Fascination with February’s Birthstone


Amethyst is the birthstone for February and the gemstone gift for the 6th and 17th wedding anniversaries. It was once believed that amethyst was a symbol of empowerment and inner strength, and the wearing of it would prevent intoxication. In fact, the etymology of amethyst is from the Greek word “amethystos,” meaning “not drunk.”

Amethyst gemstones once adorned royal crowns and religious jewelry. Reportedly, even Saint Valentine wore an amethyst ring – further strengthening its “birthstone” connection to the month of February. 


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The most valued variety of quartz, amethyst is known for its lovely purple hue - although its shades range from light lilac to brownish, and in some cases, blueish to raspberry tones. In a single stone you may see a variety of color zones – darker and lighter shades of the same hue.

Not a rock itself, amethyst is a mineral that is found primarily in fractures and cavities of igneous rocks. Amethyst develops as 6-sided crystals with pyramid-shaped tops. Amethyst crystals form naturally inside of many geodes.


In ancient times, amethyst was popular with royal families and was thought to possess mystical powers that could rid the mind of evil thoughts and improve intelligence. Today, many people still believe that amethyst has healing powers. 

Amethyst was once considered as rare and prized as rubies and other precious gems, until large deposits were found in Brazil. Today, amethyst is mined predominantly in Africa and South America and widely available at all price points.


Because of its hardness (7 on the Mohs Scale), amethyst will generally withstand daily wear and tear in rings and other jewelry. Excessive heat could potentially fade the color; however, it is typically stable with normal wear. Amethyst jewelry can be cleaned safely with mild soap and water and a soft brush. Ultrasonic cleaning is also safe as a general rule, but steam cleaning is not recommended.

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Most amethyst stones don’t have inclusions you can see with the naked eye, which makes them desirable for jewelry making. Clarity and color are the most important factors in choosing an amethyst stone. Like many other types of gemstones, amethyst can also be lab-created, which may lower the price, but make sure to purchase from a reputable jeweler, who can verify the quality of whatever you choose.


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