February is all about Amethyst
by Susan Collick
Happy birthday February babies!
Your birthstone is my February Gem of the Month – Amethyst! Being the traditional birthstone for February, however, is not amethyst’s only claim to fame.
The name “amethyst” comes from the Greek word “amethystos”, which means “not drunken”. In ancient times, people used amethyst to ward off drunkenness in addition to bringing clarity of mind. Found plentifully in ancient Greece and Rome, amethyst often decorated jewelry, goblets, and other objects.
Amethyst is an important part of medieval European history. The finest specimens came from mines in the Eastern Mediterranean and were highly sought after by royalty and the wealthy. Highly prized among royalty, this gemstone symbolized wealth and spiritual power. Churches used the stone to convey piety and created many religious artifacts such as rosaries, chalices, and bishop’s rings from the stone.
Amethyst is plentiful. Brazil, Uruguay, Australia, USA, and Russia hold deposits, while the largest deposits are located in Africa.
How Amethyst Forms
A type of quartz, amethyst occurs in different shades of purple, ranging from pale lilac to deep violet. Not only does this stone range in shades, but it can do so within the same crystal. This is a cool phenomenon called ‘zoning’. The phenomenon occurs when the amount of iron fluctuates during the crystal’s growth. The crystals form in geodes, which are hollow rocks inside volcanic matter. Silica-rich fluids combine with minerals in volcanic rocks, causing the formation of quartz crystals.
Amethyst is a hard and durable stone holding a rating of 7 on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness. Not only is this good news if you own amethyst jewelry, but especially if you wear them day in and day out.
Spiritual Properties & Uses
In addition to its ornamental uses, cultures worldwide have used amethyst as a spiritual, as well as, a healing stone. Many believe that amethyst has the power to calm the mind and further enhance your spiritual awareness, making it a popular choice for use in meditation and spiritual practices. Because of amethysts calming properties, many believe it is a powerful tool for coping with anxiety, and sleeplessness.
Thanks for reading! If you have any questions about the Gem of the Month, amethyst, you can drop them in the comments below. You can also shop my amethyst pieces here.