Earth's Natural Treasures

Amethyst

 

Amethyst Facts, Information and Description
Amethyst is the official birthstone for February as adopted by the American National Association of Jewelers in 1912. It is also the birth stone for the Zodiac sign of Pisces.
Amethyst is suggested as a gem to give on the 4th, 6th and 17th wedding anniversaries.
Amethyst is the purple variety of quartz and the most valued member of the quartz family. It must be purple to be amethyst, but it can display a range of shades including deep purple, light lilac, lavender and mauve. Top quality amethyst is a deep medium purple with rose-colored flashes. Its purple color made it a stone of royalty for many thousands of years.
Amethyst can occur as crystals that are six sided on either end. It also forms as drusy which are crystalline crusts covering the host rock. It is found inside geodes and in alluvial deposits all around the world and occurs in both crystalline or massive forms. When manganese is present in clear quartz amethyst is produced, while the amount of iron contained in the specimen accounts for the depth of purple.
Mohs scale of hardness is 7.
Most amethyst gemstones on the market today are heat-treated to produce a deeper color. Heat treating is permanent and these stones will not fade over time. Unless otherwise stated, assume that any amethyst you purchase today has been heat treated to increase the depth of color. Also, note that most citrine available on the market today is actually heat treated amethyst.
 
Amethyst  Folklore, Legend, & Healing Properties
 
Throughout history amethyst has been used to guard against drunkenness and is thought to be helpful in overcoming addiction. It has been used for hearing disorders, insomnia, headaches and other pain. Some sources suggest it is used to stabilize mental disorders.
Worn to make the wearer gentle and amiable. Amethyst powers include: dreams, healing, peace, love, spiritual upliftment, courage,  psychism, protection against thieves, and happiness.
This legend and the connection to Bacchus led to the belief that drinking wine from a cup made of amethyst would prevent drunkenness, and later, that wearing amethyst would also prevent the wearer from becoming drunk or being poisoned. Amethyst is also considered as an aid to the brave because it was believed to protect soldiers in battle.
Other legends say that amethyst can control evil thoughts, help hunters in the capture of animals and can make the owner shrewd in business matters.
Amethyst is a variety of quartz which occurs in transparent light to dark purple. The darker more intense colors are more valuable than the lighter smoky or lavender color. Dark rich, royal colors of amethyst have been treasured by kings and queens for centuries and can be traced back to the Minoan period in Greece (c. 2500 B.C.). During the 15th century the French fleur-de-lis brooch could only be worn by the Royal family on ceremonial occasions.
The two main sources of amethyst are Brazil and Zambia although it is also found in Uruguay, Russia, Sri Lanka, Mexico, and the US state of Arizona.
Amethyst is used as faceted stones or polished cabochons and is carved in various shapes. Amethyst beads are used in necklaces, earrings and other jewelry in both rough unpolished forms, smooth glossy shapes, faceted beads and briolettes.
One of the largest cut amethysts in the world is 343 carats and is housed at the National History Museum in London. Very dark stones are sometimes heated to enhance color.
According to legend, amethyst originated when Bacchus, the God of Wine, grew angry at mortals. He vowed the next mortal that crossed his path would be eaten by tigers. At that time, a beautiful young maiden named Amethyst was on her way to worship the Goddess Diana. Diana, knowing of Bacchus vow, turned Amethyst into a pillar of colorless quartz to protect her from the tigers. Bacchus, witnessing the miracle, repented and poured wine over Amethyst, staining her purple.
 
 
 
Unique Birthstone Jewelry
 
Amethyst is also listed as a birth/natal or star stone in the following birthstone tables:
Modern - February
Traditional - February
Ayurvedic - February
Zodiac - Pisces
Sun Sign (Star Sign) - Aquarius
Sun Sign (Star Sign) - Pisces
Sun Sign (Star Sign) - Sagittarius
Talismanic - Scorpio
Arabic - February
Hebrew - February
Roman - February
Amethyst is the modern February birthstone and the accepted gem for the 4th, 6th and 17th wedding anniversaries
 


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