February's Birthstone: Royally Rockin' Amethyst
For those of you who appreciate the finer things in life, it’s time to honor February's birthstone: the amethyst.
Through the ages, this dazzling purple member of the quartz family has been used for everything from love charms to symbols of royalty. It's the rarest member of the quartz family and is largely found in Brazil. However, it can also be found in Uruguay, Zambia, Canada and parts of the United States.
History of the Amethyst
February’s birthstone is commonly associated with sobriety and spirituality. Ancient Greeks and Romans believed that amethyst could repel the intoxicating powers of Bacchus (the Roman god of wine, among other things.) This beautiful purple stone also stands for wisdom and security.
The ancient Egyptians believed it could keep a person from being poisoned.
In medieval times, amethyst was often put under the pillow to cure insomnia and bring pleasant dreams. Medieval churchmen used amethyst rings and jewels to promote divine revelations and wisdom, since it was considered a symbol of Christian love and sacrifice.
It also was said to enhance courage and creativity, to promote intuition, psychic development and even self-esteem, to deflect anger, and protect the wearer against evil.
How to Care for Amethyst
Good news - amethyst is relatively easy to care for. This beautiful gem is tough and durable and wears well. Make sure to clean your amethyst jewelry with mild dish soap and use a toothbrush to scrub behind the stone where dust can collect. Avoid exposure to high heat, which may cause its color to fade.
How to Wear Amethyst
Designers celebrate it as an ideal gemstone for jewelry because of its royal color, variety of sizes and shapes, affordability, and wide tonal range, from pale lavender to dark purple. While deep purple is most valuable, lighter colored amethyst stones are more affordable.
This gem complements both warm and cool colors so it looks right set in both yellow and white metals and complements almost every color in your wardrobe.
Make sure you wear your amethyst jewelry this month! If you don't have any amethyst jewelry, check out the American Gem Society on where to purchase this beautiful gemstone.
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