Photo by fotografierende on Unsplash
The history and origin of the February birthstone Amethyst.
Amethyst stands as the official birthstone for February. Prized for its deep purple colour, Amethyst makes a popular choice for jewellery.
Anyone with a February birthday benefits from an incredible and affordable gemstone associated with incredible meaning.
Discover the origin and background of this fascinating gemstone. While Amethysts remain hugely popular for women’s fashion, few realise the importance of this beautiful gemstone.
Amethyst and diamond halo pendant created by bespoke design at Serendipity Diamonds
What is Amethyst?
Amethyst originates from the mineral Quartz. Most people associate Quartz with a white, or clear colouration. But Amethyst is famed for its exquisite purple colour.
The origins of Amethyst. Where does Amethyst come from?
Amethyst represents the most valuable form of Quartz. It occurs in volcanic rocks in countries including Brazil, Uruguay, Russia, Austria, India, parts of the United States and Zambia which produces around 1000 metric tonnes of Amethyst per year.
Russia produces some of the finest Amethyst, coming from the Ekaterinburg region near Mursinka.
A very recent discovery of a Quartz geode on the border between Uruguay and Brazil revealed an incredible heart-shaped formation. Miners exposed the heart-shaped geode when the parent rock was split into two. Each half contained the divided geode, encrusted with Amethyst.
Both Canada and USA mine Amethyst. To the East, Siberia produces some of the finest Amethyst. We refer to some of the most prized gemstones as ‘Deep Siberian’ for this reason.
Image courtesy and copyright of Uruguay Minerals
Affordable Amethyst makes it a popular choice for a wide range of jewellery.
Amethyst features a primary hue varying from light pinkish violet to deep purple. In addition, Secondary hues include red or blue.
Amethyst and Sapphire heart shapes from one of our bespoke ring designs.
Popular choices for birthstone Amethyst jewellery
For birthstone Amethyst jewellery, many buyers choose affordable combinations. For example, a Sterling Silver Amethyst necklace.
In contrast, more expensive options provide an alternative range of budgets. These include pendants set with a combination of Amethyst and diamonds, held within Platinum or 18ct Gold. In fact, Platinum, White Gold and Yellow Gold all suit Amethyst.
Custom-made Amethyst pendant featuring a square gemstone in a rub-over setting.
Magical properties of the February Birthstone Amethyst – myths and mystery
Amethystos or Amethustos means “not intoxicated” in Ancient Greek. A belief existed that you could drink throughout the night. In fact, you could remain sober provided you carried an amethyst within your mouth or upon your person.
“Plato the Younger,” made reference to an Amethyst inscribed with an image of Dionysus. A connection to its sobering properties in connection with drinking.
The French poet Remy Belleau created a story in 1576 in a collection of poems relating to gemstone properties.
The tale recounts the actions of the Greek God Bacchus. The maiden Amethyst was turned into a clear stone through the protection of the goddess Diana. The god of wine Bacchus poured wine over Amethyst, staining her a deep shaped of violet.
In early Christianity, the purple colour led to associations with Christ. Both healing powers and calming properties became connected to Amethyst.
In addition, Tibetans connect Amethyst to Buddha as a sacred stone. As a result, prayer beads made of Amethyst lend themselves to both prayer and meditation for Buddhists.
Amethyst for love and Valentine’s Day?
We relate Amethyst to Valentine’s Day. Owing to the February connection, Amethyst make the perfect fit for Valentine’s Day jewellery.
Gemstones with pink, purple and red stand out for Valentine’s Day proposals.
Amethyst, features on the hand of St. Valentine in the likeness of Cupid. We connect Amethyst to the virtues of calmness in the face of passion —a virtue during Medieval times.
While Amethyst signified true love, it offered protection to warriors in battle.
Amethyst blends beautifully with blue sapphires. It contrasts equally well against the dazzling whiteness of a diamond.
Deep purple – Prized Amethysts in Bespoke Jewellery
The February birthstone Amethyst takes pride-of-place in bespoke jewellery design. Large Amethysts make an affordable large gemstone. With diamond accents, a large cut Amethyst makes a striking statement. This is especially relevant for gemstones with deep purple hues.
Surrounded by diamonds, this floral designed Amethyst and diamond ring makes a striking impact, set with a large oval cut deep-purple Amethyst.
Alternatives to Amethyst suitable for Engagement Rings
Certain gemstones make durable alternatives to Amethyst. One of our recent clients commissioned a rare Purple Spinel with similar properties to Sapphire. Lighter in colour, this Purple gemstone made a unique alternative for her solitaire ring.
Owing to the affordable price of Amethyst, we carry many items made from Sterling Silver. For example, Silver Amethyst pendants and earrings. Many of our affordable designs carry colours ranging from deep purple to a lighter shade of purple. For a February Birthstone gift, Silver Amethyst jewellery makes a wonderful present. Furthermore, this gemstone colour matches perfectly to our lavender logo and branding. For this reason, our presentation boxes make a perfect showcase for any item of Amethyst jewellery.
About Mark Johnson
Mark attended Liverpool University and went on to pursue a career in the diamond industry. After more than a decade working in polished diamonds, Mark moved to the Isle of Wight where he launched Serendipity Diamonds. He works most days from their busy Ryde showroom, photographing jewellery and writing for the Serendipity Diamonds website.