Amethyst Is February's Birthstone
By Sam Serio
If you're still young enough to remember your birthday,
you probably also remember the special birthstone assigned to it. But at your age, we bet
you don't really know the SIGNIFICANCE of your birthstone and what power the ancients felt
would be bestowed about you by wearing it.
February's birthstone: Amethyst
Birthstone powers: Brings peace and calm to your life
Alternative Birthstone: Bloodstone
Amethyst is the birthstone for the month of February and
the traditional anniversary gemstone for the sixth of marriage. Once considered more
valuable than diamonds, this member of the quartz member occurs naturally as crystals
within rocks. The stones are mined in Brazil, Uruguay, Sri Lanka, Madagascar, Zambia,
Australia and in the mountains of Russia.
American amethysts are mined in Maine, Pennsylvania, North
Carolina, Montana and Colorado. Amethyst from Maine is usually dark with North Carolina
amethyst having a bluish tint unique to that area. Amethyst can lighten if exposed to
strong sunlight for a long time. When heated to 550-560 Centigrade, the color changes to
dark yellow or reddish brown. (They are then called citrines. These are more richly
colored and more expensive then natural citrines.)
Ideally deep medium purple with rose-colored flashes,
amethysts generally range in hue from pale lilac to nearly black purple. Since purple has
always been the color of royalty, amethysts abound in the ornaments of in the British
Crown Jewels and in the adornments of the ancient Greeks and Egyptians, as well. They have
been found in ruins dating as far back as the ninth century, adorning royal jewelry,
scepters, and crowns.
The intense violet hue of February's birthstone appealed
to early monarchs, perhaps because they often wore this color
as a symbol of their
elevated position. Purple dye was once scarce and expensive, so it was reserved for the
garments of royalty, and the color came to symbolize power and status.
Sobering Thoughts with Amethyst
The Greeks believed that whoever wore an amethyst or drank
from an amethyst cup would not become intoxicated. In fact, the word amethyst is derived
from the Greek word "amethystos," meaning sober. In ancient Greece, the gemstone
was associated with the god of wine, and it was common practice to serve this beverage
from Amethyst goblets in the belief that this would prevent overindulgence. It was also
claimed that amethyst had a sobering effect on those "drunk" on loves
Even today, amethyst is considered a stabilizing force for
those struggling to overcome addictive behaviors. In general, the gemstone is believed to
be a calming, tranquil influence that symbolizes peace.
Amethyst and Prayer
Amethyst is symbolic of piety, spirituality, and a
devotion to God. The rich purple gemstones are used worldwide to ornament churches and
crosses used in religious ceremony, and they frequently found in the rings and on the
rosaries worn by bishops and priests.
It is also believed that amethysts bring on pleasant
dreams because they allow you to "channel" positive universal energy. As a
result many people place an amethyst under their pillow before going to sleep at night to
enjoy "sweet dreams" throughout the night.