“The February-born shall find, sincerity and peace of mind,
Freedom from passion and from care, if they an amethyst will wear,” author unknown.
Amethyst is the birthstone for February birthdays. This purple gemstone has come to represent deep love, happiness, humility, sincerity and wealth. Amethyst jewelry is also a popular anniversary gift for the 4th and 6th years of marriage. Now read on for some interesting, lesser known fun facts about amethysts.
What’s in a name?
- In the Hebrew language, the word “ahlamah” refers to both amethyst and “dream”. Amethyst was believed to bring good dreams. And if you’re lucky enough to dream of an amethyst, then you will be free from harm.
- Amethyst originated from the Greek word “amethystos” which means “remedy or protection against intoxication”. Owing to this belief, even now, ceremonial wine continues to be served in goblets carved out of amethyst.
Church and Royalty
As amethyst symbolized celibacy and piety, the churches of the Middle Ages incorporated amethysts in their ceremonial ornamentation. Considered the stone of bishops, many still wear amethyst rings. Mathew, one of the 12 apostles, had amethyst as his emblem.
With its deep purple color, in ancient times, amethyst was popular among royalty and valued more than diamonds. Amethysts feature prominently in the British crown jewels and was popular among Egyptian royalty. Catherine the Great sent thousands of miners to the Ural mines to scour for this gemstone.
Thunder Bay, Ontario has the largest amethyst mine in North America and it’s no wonder that amethyst is the official gemstone of Ontario.
In ancient times, amethyst was highly sought after by soldiers who wore it for protection in battle. Farmers believed that it had the power to protect their crops from locusts and hailstorms. Even intellectuals like Leonardo da Vinci believed that wearing amethyst controlled evil eye and could make the wearer intelligent and shrewd in business.
Amethyst enjoyed the status of being included among the most valuable gemstones along with diamond, sapphire, ruby and emerald until about the 18th century. The discovery of large deposits of the gemstone around the world including Brazil, Uruguay, Africa, Canada, Mexico, Russia, and the USA has made this lovely gemstone more prominent. More than a ton of amethyst was discovered in ’93 in a 9 foot cavern in Maine.
Amethyst is a part of the Quartz family and is a close cousin of agate, onyx, jasper, tiger’s eye, citrine, bloodstones and carnelian, that all belong to the quartz family. On the Moh’s scale of hardness, amethyst has a score of 7.
You cannot ignore the color and sparkle of every piece of amethyst jewelry. Consequently, February born (or not) women seek out amethyst jewelry to add that pop of color to their jewelry collection.