The February Birthstone
Amethyst, the birthstone of February, is a variety of quartz that is famous for its violet and red colors which can be found all over the earth. When one thinks about amethyst, its extraordinary color always comes to mind. For February birthdays, that color is purple — a rich, sumptuous, radiant purple. A royal purple. As Minnesotans we already have a torrid love affair with the color purple – The Minnesota Vikings produly wear it on the field and our befallen Minneapolis rockstar Prince rocked it all over the world.
From its earliest discovery, amethyst’s sumptuous shade has cast a spell, one that bewitches even today. Its gorgeous hue represents royalty, passion, daring, fashion, and dreaminess. Most amethyst came to Europe all the way from Brazil. It was scarce, very expensive, and considered a precious stone. At times, it was even more valuable than diamonds. Then in 1799, large amounts of amethyst were found in Russia’s Ural Mountains, and amethyst’s price had declined.
Today, amethyst is abundadant and well-priced. Yet, its allure remains whether featured alone or accented by a wide array of gems.
History of Amethyst
Though most sources refer to the Greek meaning of amethyst — “away from drink” or “not drunk,” — both its Arab name, al-hilma, and its Hebrew name alhama, mean “dream stone.” To wear one meant you would dream, though it’s unclear whether or not you had to wear it at night!
As noted by the American Gem Society, “throughout history, Amethyst – the February birthstone has been associated with many myths, legends, religions, and numerous cultures. English regalia were even decorated with amethysts during the Middle Ages to symbolize royalty. It has been associated with many myths, legends, religions, and numerous cultures. Historically, the finest amethyst were found in Russia and were featured in much royal European jewelry. Today, while Brazil is the primary source of this gemstone, fine material can be found elsewhere, especially in Zambia”. Along with the interesting history and legends of Amethyst comes adorned crowns and jewelry of people from many different cultures and royalty throughout the past. We think you’ll that this precious, violet quartz stone will also look amazing adorning you!
Purple is a combination of red and blue in different proportions to achieve different shades – strikingly beautiful. Making purple required great skill and was a long, difficult, and costly process. The stunning result that yielded a wealth of shades was available only to those who could afford it: kings, nobles, priest and magistrates around the Mediterranean.
Over time, purple became associated with daring change: women’s suffrage, feminism, counterculture, and free expression. Today, purple is for everyone. Gittelson Jewelers offers some February birthstone options in Amethyst but for the client of distincation we custome design jewelry to fit your personality and month of brith. Fine jewelry designed for just for you is where the Amethyst really “shines”.
Amethysts come in colors ranging from deep purple to the palest shades of pastel lavender and even pink. The most valuable hue is a strong reddish purple shade, but every shade of amethyst is one to fall in love with. Lavender hues look particularly stunning in amethyst engagement rings when complemented by diamond accents. Most amethysts have excellent clarity, with no inclusions visible to the naked eye, and are available in a variety of cuts and carat weights. Custom design an amethyst ring of your dreams!
The Amethyst Today
If you’re shopping for a February birthday gift, amethyst jewelry is a can’t-miss choice. With a score of 7 on the Mohs hardness scale (10 being most durable), amethyst is strong enough for rings and daily wear, but some care should be taken to protect it from being scratched by rough materials. These gems can also be damaged by some acids and alkaline solutions (so don’t wear an amethyst ring while using household cleaners). Clean your amethyst jewelry with mild soap and warm water. Ultrasonic cleaners are safe unless an amethyst has had fractures filled (which is rare), but steam cleaning is not recommended.
Gittelson Jewelers is proud to offer some unique February birthstone jewelry, both in-store and available for custom orders. Purchasing birthstones, for some, is as important a decision as an engagement ring. Its personal, special and likely to be worn for life, even if its fitting changes over time from a ring, to a necklace or some other piece of inspiring jewelry (like these striking Amethyst earrings). Treat someone special in February to an Amethyst; a gemstone that is undeniably incredible. Check out our birthstone jewelry guide, for more information.