As part of my new determination to keep this blog going, I will be doing a monthly gem focus, based on the monthly birthstones.
The birthstone for February is the amethyst – which is a beautiful gem that ranges in colour from a very light violet, through to a rich dark purple.
It is a variety of crystalline quartz, with a hardness scale of 7 (Mohs), which makes it a good, middle of the range stone, which works well in many cuts, facets and beads.
The current major sources of amethysts are Brazil, Bolivia, Uruguay and Zambia. As a general rule, Brazil tends to produce stones of a larger size, but paler colour, whereas Zambia produces smaller stone, but with a much richer colour.
Amethyst has been used for personal adornment for thousands of years. The Ancient Egyptians carved amethyst in to animal amulets for protection, and the Ancient Greeks used amethyst in carvings and jewellery, and it is from Greece that one of the oldest pieces of folklore comes, that amethyst has the power to prevent drunkenness!
According to legend, St Valentine wore an amethyst ring carved with a likeness of Cupid – hence one of the reasons why it became the birthstone for the month of February. During the 11 and 12 hundreds, Crusaders were said to wear amethysts as a form of protection to stop them falling in battle.
Amethyst is one of the most commonly used Chakra stones – the Crown Chakra. It also has many healing properties, such as relieving stress, soothing irritability, balancing mood swings, dispelling anger and anxiety, and alleviates negativity. So who wouldn’t want a piece of amethyst in their lives!
I have used amethyst in a lot of my jewellery pieces over the years – it is a personal favourite, and I have a number of pieces that I wear often myself.
These are some of the amethyst pieces I currently have available in my Etsy shop. For the month of February I am offering a discount of 20% off all amethyst jewellery with the code FebBirth. Just click on the photos to follow the links.
Source;- International Gem Society (IGS), Gemology.com, Curious Gem