The February birthstone is Amethyst. Happy Birthday to all those born in February!
History of February birthstone amethyst
The Greek word ‘amethystos’ means ‘not drunken’; for this reason, many wine goblets were carved out of amethyst, and the ancient Greeks also wore the gemstone as an amulet to ward off drunkenness. The modern-day version (we think!) would be to wear an amethyst cocktail ring, as we’ve blogged about here.
Fine amethysts are found in the British Crown Jewels as an example of modern regality.
Where does amethyst come from?
Amethyst is mined in the usual gemstone-producing areas such as Canada, Madagascar, Myanmar, Namibia, Russia and Sri Lanka. You might have also heard of ‘Brazilian’ amethyst; this is because large deposits are found in the Rio Grande do Sul and Para parts of Brazil.
What does the birthstone amethyst represent?
Amethyst has long been associated not only with sobriety, but also for (possibly related?) headaches, backaches and pancreatic problems.
What do amethyst & citrine have in common?
You may remember that citrine is the birthstone of November…And the answer is that amethyst and citrine are sisters! They share the same mineral structure of quartz; the only difference between the two is the oxidised level of iron impurities in the amethyst. You may have heard of ‘heat-treated’ gemstones; when amethyst is heated between 470 – 750 degrees celsius, these impurities can turn turn amethyst into golden citrine.
Green amethyst is actually a bit of a misnomer; as it is heat-treated, it isn’t actually ‘amethyst’ in the true sense of the word. Its correct name is mint quartz, or prasiolite – but the population at large seems to understand and prefer the term ‘green amethyst’.
Celebrity amethyst jewelry
Amethyst is a popular choice of celebrity jewelry, probably because of its regal connotations. Here we see Debra Messing wearing some amazing Lorraine Schwartz cabochon (polished) amethyst and emerald chandelier earrings at the Golden Globes 2012.
Image: via cherylkremkow.com
We also see Katy Perry wearing this amazing amethyst necklace from Valeska, a fellow compatriot (Australian) jewellery designer. This Valeska necklace is at the other end of the price spectrum compared to the uber-expensive Lorraine Schwartz, but it looks fabulous nonetheless.
Image: via www.sonyaooten.com
However, this 80 carat amethyst ring from Lorraine Schwartz again, being worn by Zoe Saldana at the Academy Awards is our pick. Here we see Zoe’s entire outfit:
Image: via Cosmopolitan
And here’s a close-up of that incredible ring.
Image: via alanfriedmanjewelry.blogspot.com
We wouldn’t like to hazard a guess at the price tag, other than to say it would be incredibly expensive. Amethyst as a gemstone by itself isn’t that expensive – not compared to sapphires, emeralds, rubies and diamonds – but what we see here would be incredibly expensive simply due to its size. The ability to find a piece of amethyst that large, uncut, is very rare, and would therefore increase the price no end.
Speaking of incredible rings, StyleRocks has just launched its new style, the 18 carat diamond halo ring. Here we see it with an amethyst gemstone – and judging from its response on the StyleRocks Facebook page – amethyst is not just for celebrities!
The ‘green amethyst’ diamond halo ring in 18 carat rose gold
The citrine diamond halo ring in 18 carat yellow gold
Any kind of ‘amethyst’ seems to look stunning in this style!