Wednesday, January 25, 2012

February Birthstone: Amethyst

Amethyst is February's birthstone and the birthstone for the Zodiac sign Pisces (Feb. 19 - March 20). It is also the appropriate gemstone gift for the 6th wedding anniversary.

Amethyst is probably the most recognized variety of quartz. A few other varieties of quartz are citrine, rose quartz and smoky quartz. It is a 7 on the Mohs scale of hardness making it safe for every day wear. Amethyst has long been loved for its beautiful purple hues. The stone can range from a pale lilac to a deep purple. The deeper colors are the most valuable.

According to Greek legend Dionysius, the God of wine, was angered when a mere mortal insulted him. He swore revenge on the next mortal to cross his path and created fierce tigers to carry out his bidding. Along came the beautiful young maiden Amethyst on her way to pay tribute to the goddess Diana. Diana turned Amethyst into a crystal quartz statue to protect her from the tigers of Dionysius. Dionysius wept tears of wine in remorse over the beautiful statue staining Amethyst purple and creating the gem we know today.

The Greek word "amethystos" basically can be translated as "not drunken." Amethyst was considered a strong antidote against drunkenness. As a result it became associated with upright, sober thinking. Wine goblets were often carved from it and during the Middle Ages it was used as ornamentation in churches. Because purple has long been associated with royalty it's not surprising that Amethyst has been in high demand throughout history.

Amethyst Jewelry at Spectrum:

Tony Maccabi Amethyst and White Gold Ring

Starsong Amethyst and Garnet wrap bracelet/necklace

Tana Acton Amethyst and Gold Fill Ring