Q. What is the birthstone for February? A. Amethyst
Amethyst: Ruler of the Centuries
Amethysts have played major roles throughout history, being favoured by significant civilizations such as the ancient Greeks and British royals. This stone, which is widely available today, was once considered as rare and valuable as rubies and emeralds. Because of this, the gem frequently adorned only the most noble of clergymen and monarchs, and played a noteworthy part in coronations.
Amethyst is known for its eye-catching range of purple hues. Specimens can be found in all colours from pale lavender to dark violet. While amethysts technically belong to the minerals species quartz, which can be found in any colour, quartz stones that are purple are typically only referred to as amethysts.
The role of amethyst in religion and royalty has been evident for hundreds of years. In fact, it is the amethyst which was chosen to stand next to the famous Star of Africa diamond in the stunning Sovereign’s Sceptre with Cross.
Where Do We Find Amethyst?
Brazil is the world’s largest producer of amethyst. Before its mines were found to hold large quantities of the stone, the cost for amethyst was extremely high. This limited them to only the most elite members of society throughout history. Today, amethysts are frequently mined in Brazil, the United States, and Zambia, which has allowed the price to decrease significantly.
Chemically, amethysts have the scientific name SiO2, and they are found in rocks called geodes. Geodes have a hollow interior which provide an ideal environment for gemstones to grow. When the rocks are broken open, dazzling crystals of various lengths are exposed.
Below is a 15ct emerald cut Amethyst in 18ct white gold with an 18ct yellow gold collet. The ring was made in our local workshops.
Some geodes can be much larger than the average human, and individual crystals can be substantial in weight. The largest amethyst ever discovered was roughly 74 kilograms. Because these specimens come in incredible sizes, it is not uncommon to see large stones in jewellery.
Why Should You Wear Amethyst?
Amethysts are aesthetically pleasing and can be found in affordable price points. Inclusions, which are natural blemishes found within all gemstones, are usually not noticeable to the naked eye in this stone. This creates a highly desirable, flawless finish for amethysts used in jewellery.Unlike diamond, the price per carat for an amethyst does not increase substantially as the stones get larger, allowing consumers to purchase sizeable stones for a reasonable cost.
Amethysts score a 7.0 on the Moh’s scale. This scale assesses the hardness of a gemstone with a rating from 1 to 10, with diamond scoring a 10. Although not as scratch-resistant as other stones in the jewellery world, careful wear will allow your amethyst piece to be a lifelong treasure.
Did You Know?
Amethysts are found in some of the most highly prized pieces of jewellery in the world including: the Morris amethyst brooch, the Duchess of Windsor’s amethyst necklace by Cartier, and Queen Silvia’s amethyst parure tiara.
While most jewellery quality amethysts are polished and cut, rough stones can be obtained and used as well.
Amethysts from Zambia tend to have a raspberry like colour, and have more inclusions than stones found elsewhere.
Amethysts are used for more than jewellery. It is not uncommon to see the stone indecorative sculpture and animal carvings.
Amethyst is the birth stone for the month of February.
While amethysts are usually cut in traditional shapes like the oval and pear, it is possible to find freeform shapes in one of a kind pieces.