February Birthstone: Amethyst
History and Meaning behind Amethyst
Ever since the time of Alexander the Great, amethyst, the birthstone for February, has been considered a precious gem. The Greeks associated amethyst with Bacchus, who was the god of wine, due to its rich grape-like color. A widely held belief during that time was that wearing the stone will prevent you from getting drunk. In fact, the name “amethyst” is derived from a word in ancient Greek, amethystos, which meant “not to be drunk.” It was also believed that the stone provided strength and intelligence to the wearer.
Until the 19th century, Russia was the main source of amethyst and the stone was considered as precious as rubies and sapphires. Then large deposits were found in Brazil. This brought down the value and price of the stone significantly. Worldwide today, Africa and South America provide the greatest quantities of amethyst.
Colors and Characteristics of The Stone
Amethysts are available in different shades ranging from the deepest purple to subtle lavender. It is mostly stones mined in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil that features the faintest shades. The stones have great clarity and are found in various cuts and sizes.Sometimes amethyst crystals are so big and heavy that a human can easily stand on them. Such huge crystals are mostly found in Brazilian mines.
How to Take Care Of Your Amethyst Jewelry
- On the Mohs scale of hardness, amethyst is a 7, which means that it is suitable for daily use. However, with prolonged use, it will start to wear, requiring polishing.
- Another thing to remember is that the stone is not as hard as sapphires and rubies so keeping it with other stones can cause scratches and abrasions.
- Do not wear your amethyst jewelry, especially rings and bracelets around the house. Certain chemicals, such as the ones found in household cleaners, can cause irreparable damage.
- Clean your amethyst jewelry with a solution of mild soap and warm water.
- Steam cleaning must be avoided.
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