Exploring the World of February's Birthstone — Amethyst
The birthstone for February is Amethyst. Amethyst is a purple variety of quartz and has been highly valued throughout history for its stunning colour and symbolism. All stones have their own meanings, amethyst is no exception.
The word "amethyst" is derived from the Greek word "amethystos," meaning "not drunken." In ancient times, amethyst was believed to protect the wearer from intoxication, and it was often associated with maintaining a clear and sober mind.
In this modern world amethyst is often linked to spiritual awareness and inner peace. It is believed to have a calming influence, helping individuals find balance and tranquillity in their lives.
Historically, amethyst has been considered a gemstone of royalty and luxury. Its rich purple colour has been associated with nobility and elegance, making it a popular choice for jewellery among the elite.
In addition to its symbolic meanings, amethyst is valued for its beautiful purple hues, which can range from pale lilac to deep violet. It is a durable gemstone suitable for various jewellery pieces.
Where is Amethyst found?
Amethyst, the purple variety of quartz, is found in various locations around the world. Some of the notable sources of amethyst include:
Brazil — Brazil is one of the major producers of amethyst, and it is known for producing some of the world's largest and most vibrant amethyst crystals. The state of Minas Gerais in Brazil, in particular, is a significant source.
Zambia — Zambia is another important producer of amethyst. The amethyst from Zambia often has deep purple hues and is highly prized for its colour and quality.
South Korea — The city of Osan in South Korea is known for its amethyst deposits. Amethyst from South Korea is typically light to medium purple in colour.
Russia — The Ural Mountains in Russia have been a traditional source of amethyst. Russian amethyst is known for its deep purple colour.,
India — Amethyst deposits can be found in various states in India, including Maharashtra and Karnataka.
United States — Amethyst is found in several locations in the United States, including Arizona, Colorado, North Carolina, and Georgia. The Four Peaks Mine in Arizona is known for producing high-quality amethyst.
Canada — The Thunder Bay area in Ontario, Canada, is known for its amethyst deposits. Canadian amethyst is known for its deep colour.
The colour and quality of amethyst can vary depending on the location, and different sources may be known for specific characteristics. When selecting amethyst for jewellery, we at Morgan & Co, take into consideration the origin of the stone to determine its value and appeal.
Where did the concept of birthstones originate from?
The concept of birthstones has ancient roots and is often associated with both religious and mystical beliefs. The practice of wearing a gemstone corresponding to one's birth month has been traced back to ancient civilisations and various cultures throughout history.
The earliest origins of birthstones can be traced back to the Bible, specifically the book of Exodus. In the biblical account, the breastplate of Aaron, the high priest of the Israelites, is described as having twelve stones representing the twelve tribes of Israel.
Ancient Mesopotamia —The idea of wearing gemstones based on astrological and zodiacal associations is found in ancient Mesopotamian cultures. The practice of assigning specific gemstones to each month may have evolved from these early beliefs.
Fast forward to 1870 and the iconic Tiffany & Co published a pamphlet called "The Tiffany Birthstone for Each Month," which helped popularise the idea of birthstones in the United States. This publication contributed to the commercialisation of birthstone jewellery.
Are Amethysts expensive?
The cost of amethyst can vary widely depending on factors such as colour, clarity, carat weight, and origin. Generally, amethyst is considered to be a relatively affordable gemstone compared to some other precious stones. However, the price can still range from very affordable to more expensive, depending on the quality and characteristics of the individual stone.
Some factors that can influence the cost of amethyst include:
Colour — Deep, vibrant purple amethyst with red and blue flashes is typically more valuable. Stones with a more intense and saturated colour are often considered higher quality and may command a higher price.
Clarity — Like other gemstones, amethyst can have inclusions or imperfections. Stones with fewer inclusions and better clarity are often more valuable.
Carat Weight — Larger amethyst stones are rarer and can be more expensive on a per-carat basis. However, amethyst is not as rare as some other gemstones, so larger stones may still be relatively affordable compared to similar-sized stones of more precious gems.
Cut and Shape — Well-cut and well-proportioned amethyst gemstones may be more valuable. The cut can enhance the overall appearance of the stone.
Origin — Amethyst from certain locations may have specific characteristics that make it more desirable. For example, amethyst from some Brazilian mines is highly prized for its colour.
As a whole, amethyst is often used in a wide range of jewellery, from affordable pieces to more intricate and expensive designs. The market for amethyst allows for a variety of options to fit different budgets.
At Morgan & Co, we like to ask our clients what month they were born. We have a hidden agenda, we love to add a little something on the inside of the engagement ring band if the client desires. We call the tiny stone, "the hidden stone". Hidden because only the wearer and the giver of the ring knows about its existence. Most of our clients will choose to have their partner's birthstone for their hidden stone.
Our bespoke team at our Buderim studio look forward to meeting you to help you source your amethyst piece, whether it's an amethyst oval pendant set east to west on a floating chain, or an amethyst dress ring, the team at our Sunshine Coast jewellers can help you source your gemstone and design the perfect piece to show off your vibrant purple amethyst.
Book your free consultation here and a big happy birthday to all our February babies!
— Love Laura
Co-owner & Designer
Morgan & Co