Birthstone Month :
Amethyst is the birthstone for the month of February.
Amethyst is associated with the zodiac sign of Pisces.
Chemical Symbol :
Chemical Make-up :
Amethyst is made up of the macrocrystalline variety of the crystal Quartz.
History & Lore :
The name Amethyst is derived from the Greek word amethystos which translates as “not drunken”. This word in turn is believed to originate in the Greek legend of Dionysus, the God of wine and mischief, who was angered by an insult from a mere mortal. As a result of this insult, he swore revenge against the next mortal who crossed his path. The next unfortunate mortal to cross the path of Dionysus was a beautiful young lady named Amethyst who was on her way to pay tribute to the
Goddess Diana. The Goddess Diana saw Amethyst's plight, and seeing that she was in danger, Diana transformed Amethyst into a pure, clear crsytalline quartz statue in order to protect her. Upon seeing the beautiful clear quartz statue Dionysis regretted his actions and wept tears of wine over it in remorse. This wine, in the form of tears from a God, stained the clear quartz purple creating the gemstone we know today as Amethyst.
Throughout history Amethyst has been thought to protect against intoxication and to help maintain a sober and serious mind, which is perhaps, along with its purple coloration, why Amethyst has a long association with royalty. Amethyst is in fact featured in jewels worn by Catherine the Great, Egyptian royalty and in the British Crown Jewels.
Amethyst opens and activates the crown chakra, the third eye chakra, and can also open the heart chakra. Amethyst can be used to fight a number of disorders including headaches, insomnia, hearing disorders, heart disorders, digestive system disorders, and has even been thought to help stabilize mental disorders. Amethyst also works emotionally and spiritually by providing patience, balance, calmness, and peace.
Amethyst is a very widely available gemstone which is found in a variety of shapes and sizes, as well as a variety of shades of purple.
Though today's major sources of Amethyst are Bolivia, Brazil, Uruguay and Zambia, there are also known deposits of Amethyst in Argentina, Australia, Germany, India, Iran, Madagascar, Mexico, Namibia, Russia, Sri Lanka, Tanzania and the United Sates (Maine, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas).
Amethyst is rated at 7 on the Moh's Scale of Hardness. Because of its relative hardness and having no particular warnings for care, Amethyst can be used for all jewelry purposes. Amethyst is found in a variety of hues of purple including deep purple, light lilac, lavender and mauve. The most prized color is a deep, rich, violet body with red rose colored flashes. Though Amethyst is relatively inexpensive when compared with other gemstones, it is the most desirable and the most valuable of all of the Quartz family of Gemstones.
The value of Amethyst almost entirely depends on its color. Because Amethyst is readily available in large sizes, the price per carat does not rise a considerable amount as the size / weight increases, making Amethyst a gemstone that provides excellent value for money.
Common Cuts :
Large, fine quality Amethyst stones are often sold in free sizes, but smaller specimens are cut into all of the commonly recognized shapes / cuts. Lower quality Amethyst specimens are usually carved into ornamental objects or beads, or heat-treated to produce Citrine.
Routine Enhancements :
Most of the Amethyst gemstones found on the market today have been heat-treated to produce the best color. This method of treatment is considered a permanent treatment and the color should not fade over time. When purchasing Amethyst presume that the stone in question has been heat-treated unless otherwise specified.
Care & Cleaning :
As with all gemstones, the number one rule of thumb with Amethyst is to try to keep it clean. When cleaning is needed use warm soapy water, and a soft brush. Ultrasonic cleaners are also usually safe. A steamer can be used to clean Amethyst but it can be risky so should be used with caution, and is really a cleaning method that should be carried out only by experienced jewelers. Never use the chemicals hydrofluoric acid or ammonium fluoride to clean Amethyst because it can erode the stone.
With Amethyst gemstones and jewelry you should avoid prolonged exposure to extreme heat as prolonged
exposure can cause color change. Amethyst jewelry should be kept in a fabric-lined box away from other, harder jewelry items so as to avoid scratching.