February Birthstone

by | Feb 21, 2024 | gemstone designs

Finding that ideal birthstone can feel like a treasure hunt with an endless map. Trust us, we understand the temptation to lose oneself in the sparkle and lore of each option. But for those born in February, your search is graced with a particular kind of magic.

We’re about to peel back the layers of allure surrounding amethyst – the crown jewel of February babies. Get ready to be charmed by this stone’s unique splendor as we explore it together!

Key Takeaways

  • Amethyst, the birthstone for February, is a purple quartz crystal that ranges in color from deep violet to light lilac and is known for its exceptional clarity.
  • This gemstone has various types with unique colors and origins, including Siberian Amethysts with red and blue highlights, Rose de France Amethysts with pinkish-lavender shades, and Ametrines which combine purple and yellow hues.
  • Historically, amethyst was valued by ancient Greeks for preventing intoxication and adorned royals as a symbol of status; it’s also believed to have protective powers and healing properties.
  • The best places to find amethyst are Brazil, Uruguay, Zambia, and Russia where they mine the stone from geodes within basalt rock cavities.
  • When purchasing amethyst jewelry consider factors like durability—it scores 7 on the Mohs scale—and ensure you get pieces with matching stones that enhance this gemstone’s natural beauty.

The February Birthstone: Amethyst

A stunning amethyst jewelry set displayed in a botanical garden with diverse models.

Amethyst, the birthstone for February, is a beautiful purple quartz crystal. It comes in different types such as Siberian Amethysts, “Rose de France” Amethysts, and Ametrines.

Color and Characteristics

A cluster of vibrant amethyst crystals in a natural rock formation captured in high definition.

The striking hue of amethyst sets it apart as the quintessential February birthstone. Its colors range from deep violet to a lighter lilac shade, often compared to the purple quartz spectrum.

Natural irradiation and impurities within the quartz crystal give rise to these rich tones, creating each stone’s unique fingerprint. Jewelers prize amethyst for its mesmerizing appearance and versatility in designs, whether set into necklaces or fashioned into brilliant cuts for amethyst earrings.

These gems also boast impressive clarity, typically free of inclusions visible to the naked eye, which enhances their appeal in fine gem collections alongside rubies and emeralds. We take great joy in finding pieces where this clarity intersects with captivating color — a true sign of high-quality amethyst.

Given their allure and healing properties attributed to enthusiasts, it’s no wonder that they’ve been used as talismans since ancient times.

Different Types: Siberian Amethysts, “Rose de France” Amethysts, and Ametrines

Delving into the range of amethyst types, we discover vibrant variations each with its unique charm. These gems vary not just in hue but also in their stories and origins.

  • Siberian Amethysts stand out with deep purple colors flecked with red and blue. They hail from the wintry regions of Russia, where miners brave the cold to unearth these sought-after stones. Esteemed for their exceptional quality, these amethysts often set the standard for judging other amethysts.
  • “Rose de France” Amethysts enchant with their light pinkish-lavender shade. They exude a gentle appeal that’s softer than other varieties but don’t underestimate their allure. These pastel beauties add a touch of romance to any piece of jewelry.
  • Ametrines are a captivating blend, merging the purple of amethysts with the golden yellow of citrines in a single quartz stone. This natural phenomenon occurs when different temperatures affect separate parts of the stone during its formation, creating a striking contrast that’s truly one-of-a-kind.

Historical Background of Amethyst

An ancient Greek statue adorned with amethyst jewelry set against a backdrop of historical ruins.

Amethyst holds a royal place in history, treasured by ancient civilizations across the globe. The Greeks believed it could prevent intoxication—hence its name, derived from the Greek word amethystos, meaning “not drunk.” This purple quartz adorned powerful figures and was set into jewelry for its beauty and supposed protective powers.

Ancient Egyptians crafted beautiful amulets from it, while European soldiers wore amethyst as protection during battle.

The stone’s significance continued through religious history; it is said that St. Valentine himself wore an amulet of this gemstone. In Aaron’s breastplate, used by high priests in biblical times, tradition claims that amethyst represented one of the twelve tribes of Israel.

During the Middle Ages, royalty often sought after these stones to display status and inner strength. Even today, experts such as those at GIA (Gemological Institute of America) and the International Gem Society recognize its historical importance.

Moving beyond just history we also find fascinating legends surrounding this gemstone’s meaning and healing properties which we’ll explore next.

Amethyst: Meaning and Folklore

A person holding an amethyst crystal in a serene forest setting for nature photography.

Having explored the historical background of amethyst, it’s fascinating to delve into its meaning and folklore. In various cultures, amethyst is revered for its purported healing properties.

It is believed to promote calmness, inner peace, and clarity of mind. Legends also suggest that wearing amethyst can protect against intoxication and purify one’s thoughts. The stone has been associated with spiritual enlightenment, often symbolizing humility, sincerity, and wisdom in different societies throughout history.

The folklore surrounding amethyst is plentiful across the globe. Ancient Greeks associated this gemstone with Dionysus, the god of wine and revelry; therefore they believed that wearing amethyst could prevent intoxication.

Additionally, Catholic bishops adorned themselves with amethyst as a symbol of piety and celibacy during medieval times. Over time, these beliefs have shaped the perceptions of amethyst as a stone with deep religious significance and mystical powers in many cultures worldwide.

Origin and Sources of Amethyst

A sparkling amethyst geode nestled in a basalt rock cavity surrounded by mining tools.

Before learning about the origin and sources of amethyst, it’s interesting to note that this beautiful gemstone has been treasured for centuries due to its captivating color and unique properties.

Amethyst is primarily found in countries such as Brazil, Uruguay, Zambia, and Russia. The gemstone is a variety of quartz known for its stunning purple hue ranging from pale lilac to deep violet.

It forms within geodes lining the inside of basalt rock cavities.

Mining processes involve extracting amethyst from these geodes using various techniques such as blasting or carefully breaking open the rocks by hand. Once unearthed, the rough crystals go through a series of steps including cleaning, cutting, and polishing before they are transformed into exquisite jewelry pieces or decorative items.

Whether sourced from South America or Africa, each region contributes distinct characteristics to amethysts based on their geological composition.

Guide to Buying Amethyst Jewelry

A woman wearing elegant jewelry stands in front of a jewelry store display.

When buying amethyst jewelry, it’s important to consider its availability, affordability, and quality. Look for matching stones and ensure that the amethyst is durable enough for everyday wear.

Availability, Affordability, and Quality

When purchasing amethyst jewelry, it is essential to consider availability, affordability, and quality. Amethyst is widely available and comes in various sizes and shapes, making it easy to find the perfect piece of jewelry.

The gemstone’s affordability makes it an excellent option for those seeking a stunning yet cost-effective accessory. Furthermore, amethyst is known for its exceptional quality and durability, ensuring that your jewelry will stand the test of time without compromising on its beauty.

To ensure you are getting the best value for your money when buying amethyst jewelry, make sure to inquire about the source of the gemstone and look for reputable jewelers or dealers who prioritize quality craftsmanship.

Matching Stones

When choosing amethyst jewelry, consider matching stones for a cohesive and balanced look. Include smaller amethysts in earrings or pendants to complement larger stones in rings or necklaces. Similarly, pair deep purple amethysts with lighter-hued stones, such as rose de France amethysts or clear quartz, for contrast and visual interest. Mix and match different cuts and shapes of amethyst to create a unique and personalized jewelry collection. Combine amethyst with other gemstones like pearls or sapphires to enhance its beauty and versatility. Opt for complementary metal settings to highlight the natural radiance of the amethyst stones.

Amethyst Durability

When considering the durability of amethyst, it’s important to note that it is a relatively hard gemstone. On the Mohs scale, which measures mineral hardness, amethyst scores a 7 out of 10.

This means that it is suitable for everyday wear in various types of jewelry, including rings and bracelets. However, like all gemstones, amethyst can be chipped or scratched if exposed to rough handling or extreme pressure.

Therefore, while amethyst is durable enough for regular use, it should still be treated with care to maintain its beauty and integrity.

Furthermore, exposure to heat or strong light may cause fading in the color of some amethysts over time. To preserve the vibrancy of its purple hue, store your amethyst jewelry away from direct sunlight when not in use.

The Distinction Between February and March Birthstones

February and March each have their unique birthstones. While amethyst is the favored gemstone for February, aquamarine takes the spotlight in March. The distinction between these two birthstones lies in their color and symbolism.

Amethyst, with its rich purple hue, symbolizes peace, courage, and stability. On the other hand, aquamarine’s tranquil blue shade represents youth, hope, and good health.

In terms of appearance and properties, amethyst is a type of quartz known for its striking violet-to-purple color. In contrast, aquamarine belongs to the beryl family and typically showcases a delicate bluish-green tone reminiscent of the sea.

Both stones carry distinct charm and meaning that appeal to individuals born in these respective months.

Conclusion

A woman wearing an elegant amethyst necklace poses for a portrait with different hairstyles and outfits.

In conclusion, the February birthstone, Amethyst, boasts a rich history and meaningful symbolism. Its stunning purple hue and durability make it a popular choice for jewelry. Understanding its significance in folklore can add depth to your appreciation of this beautiful gem.

Whether you are considering an Amethyst piece for yourself or as a heartfelt gift, the allure of this gemstone is undeniable.

Frequently Asked Questions 

1. What is the February birthstone?

The February birthstone is a beautiful purple stone called amethyst, which gemologists find fascinating due to its quartz structure and rich color.

2. Can blue topaz be considered a February birthstone?

No, blue topaz isn’t typically associated with February; it’s generally linked to December birthdays and not listed as a traditional option for this month by the International Gem Society (IGS).

3. Are there any other stones related to February besides amethyst?

While amethyst is the primary stone for February, some traditions mention jasper and onyx as alternatives, reflecting different historical beliefs or regional practices.

4. Did ancient cultures have special beliefs about the February birthstone?

Yes! In history like in Aaron’s Breastplate from biblical times, each gem represented a tribe of Israel with specific significance; and many believed wearing your birthstone could bring good fortune or protection.

5. Why do people wear their birthstones like those for February?

People often wear their birthstones such as amethyst because they feel connected to the month they were born in or appreciate the unique beauty and supposed healing properties of these gems.

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About the Author

Matt O'Desky

I grew up in Chicago where we always had a “Diamond District” – an area of town with a slew of buildings filled with dozens of private jewelry wholesalers and upstairs diamond dealers.

When I moved to Texas, and realized there were few if any private jewelers, and I knew what I should do: Deliver a far more personalized experience, in a far more relaxed and enjoyable environment than any department store jeweler could possibly offer.

And show my clients obviously better diamonds at clearly better prices.

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