The Meaning of Amethyst
February’s birthstone Amethyst has two very different traditional meanings. One stems from the origin of its name, which comes from the Greek word “amethustos”, meaning “not intoxicated.” This is based on the ancient Greek legend claiming amethysts could prevent drunkenness. Greeks were reported to drink from Amethyst encrusted or carved drinking vessels in the hopes of preventing drunkenness.
The second meaning comes from its possible association with St. Valentine, a Roman priest who in 270 AD defied the orders of Claudius the Cruel and performed secret marriages. He was executed for defying the decree on February 14, and the legend of his Amethyst Ring with a cupid carved on it has formed a tie between this luscious purple gemstone and romantic love. This explains why Amethyst is the birthstone for February and the Zodiac signs Aquarius and Pisces and is the designated gemstone for the sixth and 17th wedding anniversary.
Since ancient times, humans have associated gemstones with healing properties and spiritual significance.
Amethyst - Gemstone Knowledge
Amethyst is made up of quartz crystals and gets its color from irradiation and trace amounts of iron. This semi precious stone varies in color from a pale lavender to a deep purple. In its natural state, amethyst can present with bands of color sometimes fading to clear. The gem cutter’s art comes in cutting a stone with a consistent color.
Amethyst - Gemstone Knowledge
Caring for your Amethyst Jewelry
Occasional cleaning with a non-abrasive jewelry cleaner or mild dye-free dish soap and water is a simple way to maintain the beauty of your Amethyst jewelry. Let the jewelry soak in a small bowl for a few minutes (away from the sink drain), then brush gently with a soft toothbrush. Be sure to rinse it completely and blot dry with a chamois cloth.
Join our Circle
Amethysts can range from pale lilac to deep purple. Strongly saturated reddish purple is generally the most desired color, though personal preferences vary widely. Naturally occurring Amethyst forms in crystals and can have bands of color within one crystal, but cut gemstones are generally more consistent in color. When creating jewelry with multiple stones, HAVERHILL stone selectors choose stones which match so that there is a consistent color for all the stones in the piece of jewelry or set.
Amethyst can be sensitive to sunlight and extreme heat, but it would take prolonged exposure to sunlight or extreme heat to cause Amethyst to fade. We recommend you do not steam clean amethyst jewelry or use an ultrasonic cleaner. It is always best to store your jewelry in a cloth pouch or box to protect it and keep it from being scratched.
Absolutely not! People wear gemstones for many reasons, not just because they are the birthstone for the month they were born. You may choose to wear a stone because you feel a connection to the color, because the traditional meaning resonates with you, or because it reminds you of someone you love like a child, a friend or a loved one who has passed away. Jewelry is extremely personal and you should feel free to wear gemstones that speak to you.