September 07, 2023

Amethyst is the traditional birthstone for February. With its stunning purple hues, amethyst has captivated royalty for centuries. Discover the history, lore, styling inspiration, and shopping tips for February's regal birthstone amethyst.

What is Amethyst?

Amethyst is the purple variety of the mineral quartz, occurring in hues from lilac to deep reddish purple. Its name comes from the Ancient Greek "amethystos" meaning "not drunk" due to beliefs that it prevented intoxication.

Amethyst typically forms in quartz veins and geodes inside volcanic rock. Ideally it exhibits rich purple color saturation and transparency. Major sources include Brazil, Zambia, Bolivia, and the United States.

Both natural and lab-created amethyst are available. Lab amethyst has the same physical properties but costs much less.

Learn more about the amethyst variety of quartz

Amethyst as the February Birthstone

Amethyst has been prized for thousands of years and is the traditional birthstone for February.

Ancient Greeks believed it helped keep the mind sharp and prevented drunkenness. In Renaissance Europe, it was thought to calm lovers and keep passion in check.

Royalty adored the purple birthstone. Catherine the Great had an extensive amethyst jewelry collection, as did Wallis Simpson, Duchess of Windsor.

The rich violet color provides the essence of royalty, making amethyst a fitting gift for queens and kings. It is also the official 6th wedding anniversary gemstone.

Where Does Amethyst Come From?

Historically, Russia was the major source of amethyst until large deposits were found in Brazil in the 19th century. Today, important sources include:

  • Africa: Zambia, Malawi
  • South America: Brazil, Bolivia, Uruguay
  • United States: Arizona, North Carolina
  • Canada: Ontario
  • Russia: Ural Mountains

Zambia and Brazil produce most of the top gem-quality amethyst in deep purple hues. The Anahí mine in Bolivia produces unique bicolored amethyst-citrine stones called ametrine.

Amethyst Jewelry Care and Cleaning

With a hardness of 7, amethyst is suitable for daily wear but can chip or scratch over time. Store it separately from harder gems like diamonds. Warm soapy water and a soft brush are ideal for cleaning.

Amethyst can be heat treated to improve color, but this process makes the stone more brittle. Avoid excessive heat and high-impact activities with treated stones.

How to Buy Amethyst Jewelry

  • Seek deep purple hues - pass on brownish tones
  • Check for high transparency
  • Well-cut cushions and ovals best display color
  • Look for untreated stones for durability
  • Ask about synthetic amethyst for cost savings
  • Match metals to complement purple and skin tone

Review our amethyst buying guide for more expert tips.

Work with a reputable jeweler to find the best amethyst stone within your budget.

Styling the Regal February Birthstone

  • Classic stud earrings in deep purple hues
  • Vintage-inspired rings with rose cuts or navettes
  • Pendants surrounded by diamond halos on yellow gold
  • Mix with blue topaz and peridot for a majestic look
  • Layer single gem beads into boho necklaces
  • Modern statement rings with bold amethyst slices

Find creative ways to incorporate regal amethyst into your special day for a February birthday.

Key Facts About the February Birthstone

  • Found on every continent except Antarctica
  • Range of hues from pink to deep purple
  • Has a vitreous to glassy luster
  • Affordable even in large sizes
  • Loved by Catherine the Great and Elizabeth Taylor
  • Heat treatment can enhance color
  • Durable enough for daily wear
  • Pairs perfectly with sterling silver or gold

Find your perfect royal purple amethyst as the February birthstone or striking anniversary gift.

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