February: Month of Amethyst
The February birthstone, amethyst, is said to strengthen relationships and give its wearer courage. At one time, only royalty could wear the gem. Ancient Greeks thought that the amethyst guarded against intoxication. In fact, amethyst comes from amethystos, a Greek word meaning “sober.”
History of amethyst
According to Greek myth, Dionysius, god of intoxication, was angered by an insult from a mere mortal and swore revenge on the next mortal that crossed his path, creating fierce tigers to carry out his wish. Along came the unsuspecting Amethyst, a beautiful maiden on her way to pay tribute to the goddess Diana. Diana turned Amethyst into a statue of pure crystalline quartz to protect her from the tigers. Dionysus wept tears of wine in remorse at the sight of the beautiful statue. The god's tears stained the quartz purple, creating the gem we know today.
Science of amethyst
Amethyst is a member of the quartz family, occurring as crystals within rocks. Quartz often grow within cavities of cooling lava, forming geodes. Although the gem color must always be purple to be amethyst, it has a wide range of purple shades.
Amethyst can occur as long prismatic crystals that have a six-sided pyramid at either end, or it can form as crystalline crusts called druzes that only show the pointed ends. Amethyst is popular for its color and crystal shapes that produce handsome, purple, sparkling clusters.
Follow these simple steps to keep your jewelry looking its best
- Always store jewelry separately; on a tube, in a box or in an anti-tarnish pouch (precious jewelry only).
- Always remove jewelry before swimming, bathing, doing household chores, or using abrasive cleaners. Remember, some household cleaners contain chlorine bleach; these will cause discoloration of gemstone jewelry.
- Apply beauty products such as perfume, hairspray or deodorant before wearing jewelry as certain chemicals can leave a residue on your jewelry that can harm or dull silver, gold and gemstones.
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