Amethyst 101

Amethyst 101. Your Guide to Regal February’s Birthstone

Expert guide to stunning purple February’s birthstone offering care tips, styling inspiration, and shopping advice to enjoy nature’s royal violet crystal.

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What is Amethyst?

Amethyst stone

A variety of crystalline quartz amethyst forms when trace amounts of iron are present in the silicon dioxide stone. Interactions between the iron and natural radiation produce signature hues ranging from lilac to vivid reddish-purple.

Beyond sheer elegance, historical legends reveal wine-like purple tones originating from Greek gods. The god of wine, Dionysus, felt remorse after pouring wine over a maiden named Amethysta, turning her into this regal gem to retain innocence. Greeks and Romans believed wearing amethyst jewelry safeguarded wearers against overindulgence.

The table below summarizes key traits that characterize the gemstone:

TraitDescription
CompositionQuartz (silicon dioxide)
Crystal SystemTrigonal
Hardness7 on the Mohs scale
Color RangeLight lilac to deep reddish-purple
Key SourcesBrazil, African regions like Zambia and Namibia, Canada, Russia, United States

For centuries across civilizations spanning China, Egypt, Rome, and the Middle Ages, the alluring purple stone signified luxury, wealth, sobriety, tranquility, and spirituality. Royalty flaunted the mesmerizing gem in crowns, scepters, thrones, and signet rings, while spiritual healers prescribed the stone to calm restless souls.

History and Significance

Amethyst gems, crystals, and jewelry spotlight an extensive global history. Early Greco-Roman cultures associated positive virtues like temperance, prudence, and insight with wearing the February gemstone. Catholic bishops wore amethyst rings and carried goblets seemingly preventing intoxication during events. At times in antiquity, Chinese royalty ranked exquisite etched amethyst even above prized jade in court circles for decorative carvings.

Amethysts entered ancient Egyptian tombs, Roman broaches, and modern royal European jewelry alike. British crown jewels feature the famed 17th-century St. Edward’s Sapphire brooch with impressive violet amethysts. French royal garb commonly incorporated engraved signet amethyst rings and elegant gold and silver bracelets, necklaces, brooches, and hairpieces denoting wealth, refinement, and sobriety.

The Peacock Throne

National jewelry collections across the globe highlight the highest-quality amethyst pieces:

CountryCrown Jewels with Amethyst
United KingdomSt. Edward’s Sapphire, Sovereign’s Scepter Orb
RussiaEmpress Crown of Catherine the Great
IndiaThe Peacock Throne with Giant Deccan Amethyst
EgyptCleopatra’s Bejeweled Anklets and Ptolemy Earrings
The Sovereign's Orb

While South American countries like Brazil and Uruguay generate over 90% of global production, secondary sources span Africa, Canada, Italy, Austria, Germany, and more. Support ethical and sustainable mining practices uplifting local communities.

Jewelry Styles for Every Occasion

Amethysts accentuate jewelry across cultures for both mundane days and celebrity red carpets. Top jewelry types include:

Emblematic signet rings to cuff bracelets glitzy chandelier earrings, and faceted gemstones captivate in oval, emerald, trillion, checkerboard, Asscher, baguette cuts, set in silver, gold, titanium, platinum, and diamond accent stones.

Minimalist Jewelry

Dainty thin gold chains with pendant

Amethyst Pendant Necklace

Check out this Pendant Necklace here.

Sterling silver cuff bracelets

925 Sterling Silver Amethyst Cuff Bracelet

Check out this 925 Sterling Silver Cuff Bracelet here.

Modern Amethyst Jewelry

Asymmetrical oversized statement earrings

Asymmetrical Amethyst Earrings with Silver

Check out this Asymmetrical Earrings with Silver here

Geometric bangles and cocktail rings

Amethyst geometric bangle in rose gold

Check out this geometric bangle in rose gold here.

Nature-Inspired Amethyst Jewelry

Amethyst engagement ring

Check out this engagement ring here.

Delicate leaf motif drop earrings

Leaf Amethyst, Chrysoberyl and Diamond Drop Earrings

Check out these Leaf, Chrysoberyl, and Diamond Drop Earrings here

Vintage hair combs

Vintage amethyst hair comb

Check out this Vintage hair comb here

Vintage-Style Jewelry

Vintage amethyst ring

Check out this vintage ring here.

Filigree pendants with gemstone centerpieces

Sterling Silver Filigree Disk Necklace with Amethyst Center

Check out this Sterling Silver Filigree Disk Necklace here.

Estate jewelry like Art Deco rings

Original Art Deco diamond ring

Check out this Original Art Deco diamond ring here.

The versatile purple gem embeds itself across cultures and eras as the definitive jewel of nobility, romance, and kind fate.

Caring To Preserve Beauty

Follow these best practices for cleaning, storage, and preventing damage for decades of enjoying amethyst:

  • Cleaning Jewelry: Gently hand wash with mild soap, water, and a soft brush. Use professional ultrasound or steam cleaning just periodically.
  • Storing Jewelry: Separate pieces in dedicated fabric pouches to prevent scratching.
  • Preventing Damage: Protect from sharp blows that could chip stones. Remove during strenuous physical activities.

Everything To Know Before Buying

Consider these essential qualities when evaluating gemstones:

The 4Cs: Cut, Color, Clarity, Carat

  • Cut quality impacts overall visual appeal. Well-cut facets radiate light back uniformly.
  • The color range spans light lilac to rich royal reddish-purple tones. Vivid medium hues most prized.
  • Clarity classifies inclusions. The least flaws and best transparency increase value.
  • Bigger carat size equals rare finds worth astronomical prices. But even tiny stones impart beauty.
  • Natural vs Synthetic Amethyst
  • Natural untreated amethyst remains superior in value to manufactured gems.
  • Price Value Factors
  • The February gemstone costs ~$50-250+ per carat, depending on carat weight, cut grade, clarity, and region found. Large calibrated stones fetch premiums at fine auctions.
  • Ethical and Sustainable Sourcing

Support fair trade companies committed to social empowerment initiatives in mining communities.

How Amethyst Compares to Sapphire, Ruby, and Emerald

Amethyst shines bright purple as the February birthstone. But rubies, sapphires, and emeralds also captivate global audiences with their own spectacular colors and legendary folklore:

  • Color Intensity
  • Ruby’s vivid red exceeds amethyst’s range. Sapphire blue is more consistent than variable amethyst hues.
  • Hardness and Durability
  • Sapphire and ruby rate 9+ for toughness out of 10, harder than 7-rated amethyst, better-resisting scratches.
  • Value
  • Large flawless rubies and sapphires can approach or exceed diamonds in price. But quality amethyst remains more accessible to a wider range of buyers.
  • Meanings
  • Amethyst embodies temperance and tranquility. Ruby conveys passion and vitality. Sapphire imparts wisdom and hope. Emerald epitomizes abundance and everlasting life.
10 Carat Halo Amethyst and Diamond Ring

Check out this 10 Carat Halo Amethyst and Diamond Ring here

While February gemstone is relatively abundant compared to other precious gems, flawless large 10+ carat amethysts still fetch enormous sums at fine jewel auctions, especially in antique or vintage settings. A 50-carat gemstone ring sold for over $650,000 at Christie’s recent Magnificent Jewel auction.

Final Reflections

Beyond monetary worth dictated by gemological ratings, the deeper value of the gemstone relates to faith in ancient legends and these stones’ ability to inspire, protect, and calm. The god Dionysus immortalized feminine innocence by turning a vulnerable maiden into this royal violet stone, while medieval kings donned amethyst believing it prevented overindulging earthly desires and cleared the mind. Through modern chaos, February gemstone grounds us – reminding us of our inner strengths.

9ct Yellow Gold Amethyst & Diamond Fancy Pendant Necklace

Check out this yellow gold pendant necklace here

Whether sincerely gifted between friends, passed down matrilineally through generations, or presented as lovers’ tokens, amethyst signifies winged virtues, intoxicating mysteries, and that most precious rarity of all: true human connection.

So for February-born children and all spiritual seekers who revere purple majesty, may amethyst stones kindle your passions and balance your days with wisdom, wonder, and peace.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What gives February gemstone its signature purple color?

    Trace iron impurities within the quartz interact with natural radiation resulting in light, medium, and dark regal purple shades. Higher iron content equals deeper saturated hues.

  • How much could exceptionally high-quality gemstones cost?

    Rare giant centerpieces in antique or vintage jewelry settings can value over $1 million at fine auction houses. The “Empress of Uruguay” 12,000-carat specimen privately sold for almost $4 million given its unprecedented size and rich color.

  • How can jewelers prove if a gemstone is real vs synthetic?

    Advanced verification technology like refractometers and spectrometers can identify genuine natural gemstones based on optical light properties, chemical composition, crystalline structure, inclusion patterns, and other stone markers.

  • Is amethyst suitable for daily wear rings or bracelets?

    Yes. With a durability rating of 7 out of 10 on the gemstone hardness scale, February gemstone can withstand general-purpose jewelry wear. As with any fine gem, protect rings from sharp blows that could chip the stone.

  • Where does most natural amethyst come from globally?

    Brazil dominates global mining, exporting over 90% of the world’s supply. Secondary sources include African regions like Zambia, Namibia, and Morocco, as well as Canadian and Russian deposits.

  • How should I clean an amethyst tennis bracelet?

    Use a soft toothbrush with mild soap and lukewarm water to gently clean. Never use harsh chemicals or abrasives. Seek professional jewelry cleaning every few years for deeper cleaning.

  • What metals best complement amethyst?

    Silver, platinum, white gold, and yellow gold all offer classic settings. For modern styles, try pairing with darker metals like black ruthenium. Some designers opt for rose gold to accentuate purple hues.

  • Should I buy gemstones online or in stores?

    Both options exist, but make sure to buy certified natural gemstones from reputable brands with return policies. Review cut quality in videos and images before purchasing unique statement pieces.

  • What style of amethyst earrings are best for every day?

    For wearing morning tonight, stud earrings with round, oval, or square cabochons withstand frequent putting on and taking off without damage. Go for 14k gold or platinum post-backing.

  • Will an amethyst engagement ring be durable?

    With proper care, absolutely. While not as hard as diamonds or sapphires, February gemstone durability fits for wearing daily. Protect the ring from sharp impacts when doing manual labor or sports.

laoutaris

Pashalis Laoutaris

I am a professional writer, fashion blogger, and owner of the site https://laoutaris.com. As a salesperson for more than 20 years, I have experience of 10 years in the fashion industry. I consider myself a true fashionista. I am writing daily blog articles about fashion, tools and converters, and everything you need to know about the current fashion trends.

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