AMETHYST
Official birthstone for the month of February 

  History and Overview

In ancient Greek “amethyst” means “not intoxicated.” And from ancient Greek myths it is said that amethyst should be crushed up and put into the drink of a drunk to prevent him from delirium. In modern times, amethysts are very popular for their lively violet color. They are the purple variety of quartz, and although in order to be called “amethyst” the quartz must be purple, there are various shades of purple possible. Quartz is the most abundant single mineral on the planet making up approximately 12% of the earths crust found in a variety of igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary rocks.

Amethyst is the official birthstone for the month of February set in place by the American Association of Jewelers in 1912. In astrological terms, amethyst is the stone of Pisces. It’s purple color has made the amethyst the stone of royalty since the dawn of time.

Chemistry

The chemical formula for amethyst is SiO2 and it is proposed that its purple color comes from the interplay of iron and aluminum. The most valuable and coveted amethyst is a deep medium purple with rose-colored glimmers.

In the presence of heat an amethyst will become a yellow color and is sometimes called “burnt amethyst.” In daylight some amethysts appear to have no color at all and the reason for this is not understood. Over time some amethysts will loose color and sudden changes in temperature can also be harmful to the stone. However the technique of radium radiation allows for amethysts to be re-colored.

Where are amethysts found?

Brazil, Uruguay, and Madagascar are three of the more prominent geographic locations to mine exceptional specimens of the gem, even though it can be found practically everywhere from Mexico to Russia and even Italy. It is important to note, however, that although amethysts can be found in many places, they are not the same across the globe. Differences in amethysts can be noticed by experts and in studying the stone, an expert would be able to tell what region the particular stone came from and in some cases the actual mine. The color, shape of the crystals, inclusions, associations, and character of formation are key in understanding the origin of a certain sample.

Healing Properties

In the ancient past the amethyst has been used to guard against drunkenness and has also been thought useful in conquering addictions. In some cultures it is said to be useful in treating hearing disorders, insomnia, headaches, and other pains. Some sources even hint that the gem could be used to curb mental disorders.

A photograph of a beautiful piece of uncut Amethyst.

If you would like to learn more about the beauty of amethyst, continue your search here.....

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