Amethyst is the official birthstone for February
as adopted by the American National Association of Jewelers
in 1912. It is also the birth stone for the Zodiac sign of
Pisces. See the birthstone
table for additional references to this stone on alternative
birthstone charts. Amethyst is suggested as a gem to give
on the 4th, 6th and 17th wedding anniversaries.
Amethyst is the purple variety of quartz and
the most valued member of the quartz family. It must be purple
to be amethyst, but it can display a range of shades including
deep purple, light lilac, lavender and mauve. Top quality
amethyst is a deep medium purple with rose-colored flashes.
Its purple color made it a stone of royalty for many thousands
of years. See note about incorrectly named "green
Amethyst can occur as crystals that are six
sided on either end. It also forms as drusy which are crystalline
crusts covering the host rock. It is found inside geodes and
in alluvial deposits all around the world and occurs in both
crystalline or massive forms. When manganese is present in
clear quartz amethyst is produced, while the amount of iron
contained in the specimen accounts for the depth of purple.
scale of hardness is 7.
Most amethyst gemstones on the market today
are heat-treated to produce a deeper color. Heat treating
is permanent and these stones will not fade over time. Unless
otherwise stated, assume that any amethyst you purchase today
has been heat treated to increase the depth of color. Also,
note that most citrine
available on the market today is actually heat treated amethyst.
Throughout history amethyst has been used to guard against
drunkenness and is thought to be helpful in overcoming addiction.
It has been used for hearing disorders, insomnia, headaches
and other pain. Some sources suggest it is used to stabilize
Worn to make the wearer gentle and amiable. Amethyst powers
include: dreams, healing, peace, love, spiritual upliftment,
courage, psychism, protection against thieves, and happiness.
Polished stones in a variety of styles and cuts.
Rough Amethyst Crystals
see other February