Amethyst – February

Amethyst-February-BirthstoneThe Ancient Greeks once believed that if you kept an amethyst in your mouth, you could drink as much alcohol as you wanted and not become intoxicated; in fact, “amethyst” finds its roots in the Greek word “amethystos:” quite literally, “not drunk.” Of course, this was totally erroneous, and people would die because they choked on the amethyst in a drunken stupor.

Needless to say, our uses for amethyst have come a long way since then: art carving material, home décor geodes, watch regulation jewels, and the optimum use – from a jeweler’s point of view, at least – jewelry.

From subtle lavender to majestic Tyrian purple, amethyst captures the classic colors of royalty. Being a variety of quartz, it’s fairly easy to find completely transparent and free of inclusions, even in large crystals. If purple is your favorite, you’ve got the whole gamut of shades from which to choose with amethyst. It is readily available in all sizes and grades, and it is a favorite of specialty cutters because it so versatile and affordable. Amethyst is also the traditional birthstone for February.

I like using amethyst in statement pieces. Amethyst is one of the most versatile, wearable, popular colors I work with. The purple can have reddish or bluish undertones to it, so you can include it in just about any wardrobe.

Amethyst is commonly heat-treated to darken its color, making commercially available material relatively inexpensive, but truly high grade natural amethyst from Brazil, Siberia, and Uruguay is breathtaking.

Like all quartz, amethyst is safe for ultrasonic and steam cleaning. The one weakness you have to be aware of is sunlight. Both natural and heated amethyst is susceptible to fading if left exposed to direct sunlight.

If you’ve purchased an amethyst geode from me, don’t leave it out in your garden. Keep it inside out of line with any south-facing windows. You can wear your amethyst jewelry all you want, but don’t fall asleep sunning yourself on the beach with it on.

Posted in: Amethyst, February Birthstone

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