Sunday, February 7, 2010

Amethyst for February

Amethyst is a beautiful purple gemstone that has long been valued by humans.

Ancient Greeks believed that amethyst helped to ward off drunkenness, and often drank from wine goblets carved from it. Wouldn’t those goblets have been beautiful to see?

Soldiers in medieval Europe often wore amethyst amulets in the belief that amethyst brought good fortune in war.

Amethyst has been engraved and cut into sculpted forms since ancient times.

Intaglio of Roman Emperor Caracalla, circa 212 AD - photo copyrighted by Marie-Lan Nguyen/Wikimedia Commons

Amethyst is a variety of quartz. It is always purple, but the shade can vary from the palest lavender to the darkest purple. The presence of iron impurities in the quartz is what gives it its beautiful regal purple colour.

Amethyst Crystals - photo by Ben Sutherland/Flickr

Amethyst was considered to be a precious stone (along with diamond, emerald, ruby and sapphire) until the 19th century when new deposits were discovered in South America. The new found abundance of the mineral brought down the value of amethyst and today it is considered a semi-precious stone.

Amethyst is the birthstone for February.

Faceted amethyst gemstones - photo by opacity/Flickr

A moderately hard stone, 7 on Moh’s scale of hardness, amethyst is appropriate for use in all types of jewelry. However, it can lose some of its colour in sunlight, so it is best to store it in a dark place like a jewelry box or drawer, rather than leaving out on your dresser.

Amethyst is often heat treated to produce a darker colour. Some poorer colour quality specimens are heat treated to change their colour. At that point they are no longer considered to be amethyst but rather prasiolite if green or citrine if yellow.

Amethyst is used in a wide variety of jewelry. Here are some pieces made by members of the SATeam.

Featuring artisan handmade creations by the Etsy starving artists jewelry team. SATeam members create handcrafted jewelry and beads. More information about our team and its current Etsy shop owner members can be found at


galadryl said...

Lots of info about my birthstone, thx, and the example you chose are beautiful.

tjrjewellery said...

Great information, lovely pictures!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the information on this beautiful stone. The amethyst jewelry by SATeam artists is, as usual, exceptional.

Bonnie said...

Amethyst is such a beautiful stone. I am amazed by all the different style it can be used in. You have represented them beautifully.

Carole said...

I think an amethyst was the first stone I got for my collection when I was a child. Beatiful stone and great pieces.

Beadorigami said...

I love amethyst! Even though I'm not a February baby. Excellent choices from the SATeam!

AMDesignsbyAngela said...

Julie, great information and beautiful amethyst examples.

N Valentine Studio said...

Fantastic article! Well done! I love amethyst, it's one of my favorite stones.

faeriiidust said...

I love anything purple, so naturally I love amethyst! Great article!

Anonymous said...

I wish I had been born in February, amethyst is so beautiful.

Ness said...

Gorgeous purpleness! I love amethyst - some lovely pieces here. Great article too!

LunaCatJewels said...

I love Amethyst! Lots of great information and selections!