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Amethyst - February Birthstone


"The February born shall find
Sincerity and peace of mind,
Freedom from passion and care,
If they, the amethyst will wear."

Amethyst Dreamscape  53.37 ct cut by John Dyer&Co. Photo by Lydia Dyer


We are just a few moments away from that special day of love, which means this blog post is going to be about Amethyst, the well known February Birthstone. It takes the name from the Ancient Greek word "amythystos", meaning "remedy against drunkenness". As the name suggested, the stone protects the owner from drunkenness and helps to keep a balanced mindset.

Amethyst is the notable member of Quartz variety, obtaining 7 on the Mohs Scale of Hardness. It is a crystalline material which often occurs in geodes or cavities of granitic rocks. Quartz family is one of the abundant minerals on the Earth, so Amethyst could be found in many localities around the globe, including Canada, India, Madagascar, Mexico, Myanmar, Russia, Sri Lanka, USA, Italy and Germany. The most significant deposits of this semi-precious gem are in South America, especially Brazil and Uruguay. African amethyst, despite its relatively small sizes, is highly appreciated for its excellent colour saturation.

The rich violet tones of Amethyst are caused by iron impurities, the presence of trace elements and natural or artificial irradiation. 


The Amethyst Geode was discovered in 2007, taking three months to extract the geode from surrounding solid basalt rock. The Geode is 3.27 meters tall and weighs 2.5 tonne, making it the Wolds biggest Rough Amethyst. Each of the thousands of perfect crystals was shining radiating deep purple colour, and rarely remarkable quality crystals were rated as being “AA Jewellery Quality”. The ‘Empress of Uruguay’ now stands in Atherton Tablelands, Cairns in Crystal Cave Museum for everyone to touch and mesmerise on nature's masterpiece.


The gemstone can range in all violet hues from the palest pinkish lavender to the deepest purple, that can read more red or blue, depending on the light. Though colour is mainly a matter of taste, rich dark-purple tends to be more valuable than paler lilac. The saturation and consistency is a crucial factor when comes to choosing the stone. Amethyst can display zoning or colour patches, which sometimes can be creatively interpreted when cut in various directions and shapes, leaving it up to gem cutters' imagination. The stones usually appear to be loupe clean, however, healed fractures called "tiger stripes" are also common. 


As any natural mineral, Amethyst's colour can fade when exposed to light, but this process depends upon the light conditions and the origin of the stone. Thus, the crystals extracted from cavities of granitic rocks can resist even the direct sunlight. Despite the stones that occur in geodes in sedimentary rocks may lose its colour under the influence of the scattered light. But nothing to worry, gemologists can stabilise or enhance the colour.

The amethyst set owned by Queen Alexandra, the grandmother of Queen of England


The Purple Gem has acquired well-deserved popularity among lovers of fine jewellery, often favoured worldwide by Queens and Kings as it was a symbol of royalty and aristocracy. British Royal Family owns astonishing specimens of the purple variety of quartz, known as  "Kent Amethysts", Russian queen Irina Godunova basked in the glory in Amethyst & Sapphire Tiara and let's not forget the jewellery admirer, Elizabeth Taylor, enjoying a set of spectacular amethyst necklace and earrings.  



Elizabeth Taylor's precious Triphanes set, containing a  necklace and earring of amethyst beads, oval-shape Kunzite and diamonds. The masterpiece was set in the 18k yellow gold by Van Cleef & Arpels in 1973. The 19¼-inch long necklace had a detachable pendant making it an absolute favourite piece out of the actresses impressive jewellery collection. The set appeared on many covers and glamorous parties. In fact, the Triphanes set was spotted when the actress received the 1999 Academy Fellowship Award from the British Academy of Film and Television.


Today, many wearers simply prize the amethyst for its beautiful shade and the way it complements both warm and cool colours. 

Since Amethyst is an abundant mineral, the price isn't usually terribly significant, so this can be an excellent statement jewellery piece.


With St Valentine's Day around the corner, the amethyst jewellery will be a perfect gift for your beloved ones as there are many myths and legends associated with this violet love stone. Some historical records say that patron saint had an amethyst ring with Cupid carving, referred to as the “couple’s stone”. Others affirm that the saint owned the St. Valentine's Key, which was given as a token of love and healing. The charm was said to unlock the heart of anyone who wore it or presented it. So who could resist being your Valentine when every facet of Amethyst is a reflection of love.

Zhanna @ IGR London