Ah, to be born in the month of LOVE! February babies not only get to cash in on Valentine’s Day, they get to celebrate their birthday with one of our favorite gemstones – amethyst! Amethyst also happens to be the anniversary gemstone for Year 6 of marriage♥
What is Amethyst?
Amethyst is the purple variety of quartz that has captivated mankind for centuries. Every species of quartz, and there are several, posses similar crystal formations and physical properties, but differ in chemical composition. The gemstone amethyst is a purple tinted quartz and owes its color to irradiation and trace elements of iron in its crystal structure.
Where is Amethyst found?
Amethyst can be found all over the world including Brazil, Uruguay, Sri Lanka, Siberia, Canada, India, Bolivia, Argentina and Zambia. The USA has many amethyst deposits that can be found in Maine, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Montana and Colorado. The color range of American amethyst is from medium to high saturation and may include smoky or translucent crystals. Amethyst from Maine and the Carolinas is usually dark, with North Carolina amethyst having a bluish tint unique to that area.
History of and Healing Properties of Amethyst
The ancient Greeks associated the mineral with Bacchus, the god of wine, and believed wearing an amethyst prevented intoxication. Disclaimer: Amethyst is not a replacement for drinking in moderation! Historically, the deep purple hue of amethyst has been admired because of the color’s association with royalty since the days of Alexander the Great. Amethyst lore also includes several claims to mystical powers, including that it would convey strength and wit to those who wore it. If you prescribe to the mystical healing properties of gemstones, amethyst packs quite the punch:
- Increases nobility
- Spiritual awareness
- Psychic abilities
- Inner peace and healing
- Healing of body, mind & soul
- Positive transformation
- Relieves stress
Disclaimer: Amethysts should not be used in place of professional medical care.
How to choose an amethyst gemstone:
- Color: The finest amethyst is a strong purple or reddish purple, with no visible color zoning. Any brownish or bronze-colored tints lower the value dramatically. Amethysts that are a little less saturated in color are usually more affordable than those with more color saturation. A light lilac amethyst is usually much less expensive than an intense purple.
- Clarity: Almost all faceted amethyst is eye clean; that is, no inclusions can be seen with the naked eye.
- Cut: It is not unusual to see faceted amethysts of 10 or 20 carats and even larger. Because the gem is so plentiful, matched sets of faceted amethyst are relatively easy to obtain for bracelets and necklaces. The gem can also be found in a variety of fancy cuts and nonstandard sizes.
How to care for and clean amethyst:
Amethyst is a 7 on the Mohs scale of hardness. This means that it is appropriate for daily use in rings and other jewelry, but over time may show wear and require repolishing. Because amethyst is more susceptible to damage than harder gems such as rubies, sapphires and diamonds, do not store your amethyst jewelry next to these, as they can scratch it. Amethyst can be safely cleaned with warm soapy water.
Ultrasonic cleaners are usually safe except in the rare instances where a stone is dyed or treated by fracture filling. Steam cleaning is not recommended, and amethyst should not be subjected to heat. Remember that Bremer Jewelry is always happy to safely clean your amethyst jewelry for FREE!
Bremer Jewelry offers amethyst from several of our designers, including LeVian, Elle Time & Jewelry, and BeColorful. Many of these styles are featured on our website and many more are available in our stores.