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(jan 21 – feb 21)
(Feb 22 – Mar 21)
|Amethyst fact file|
|Crystal Structure: hexagonal |
Chemical Composition: Transparent Quartz – Silicon Dioxide, SiO2
Hardness: 7 MOHS
|Refractive Index: 1.5|
Colors: deep violet to pale purple
The February birthstone is Amethyst known earlier as Jasper.Amethyst, the Gemstone of Sobriety, has long been the favorite of spiritualists the world over, from the Buddha and Tibetan Llamas to Catholic Bishops.
This Purple colored crystal is from the quartz family and is considered to be an antidote for intoxication.
Anyone listening from the Alcoholics Anonymous?
The name comes from the Greek word amethystos, which means not drunk
Physical and Chemical Properties
Amethyst usually is a transparent variety of quartz. Quartz in all varieties is Silicon Dioxide, SiO2.It has a specific gravity of 2.66, and it defines 7 on Mohs hardness scale. it has refractive indexes ranging from 1.544 to 1.553, it is uniaxial, positive, and may be strongly dichroic in several colored varieties.
Amethyst is transparent and comes in shades of purple. Some translucent to opaque amethyst is also found and the purplish zones alternate with white or grayish areas. Color zonation can be very intense in transparent, translucent and opaque varieties. The most desired hues ranged from deep purplish-red to purple-red and these stones were called Uralian or Siberian Amethyst, terms that are now color grades rather than source areas. These February Birthstones range from deep violet to pale purple and may appear evenly colored or in bands. The purple color comes from iron oxide, manganese, or hydrocarbon content.
Healing Properties and Interesting Information
Amethyst is the Stone of spirituality and contentment. Provides a clear connection between the earth plane and other worlds, clears the aura, brings peace, stability and strength.Excellent for meditation, releasing addictions and migraines.
Most of the amethyst now comes from Brazil. Historically, the Ural Mountains in Russia produced many fine amethysts . Some very attractive amethyst has been produced in Mexico. In North America a great deal of amethyst is extracted from mines in the Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada, area. Major sources of amethysts include Brazil and Uruguay, but they can also be found in Russia, Mexico, India, South Africa, and the United States (Virginia, Arizona, and North Carolina).
Catherine the Great acquired thousands of amethysts. Prehistoric man used amethysts for decoration as early as 25,000 B.C. The Egyptian queen Cleopatra wore an amethyst signet ring, as did Saint Valentine, who bared an amethyst engraved with the figure of Cupid. Fine amethysts are featured in the British Crown Jewels and were also a favorite of Egyptian royalty. Leonardo Da Vinci wrote that amethyst was able to dissipate evil thoughts and quicken the intelligence. Because amethyst was thought to encourage celibacy and symbolize piety, it was very important in the ornamentation of Catholic and other churches in the Middle Ages. It was, in particular, considered to be the stone of bishops. In Tibet, amethyst is considered to be sacred to Buddha and rosaries are often fashioned from it. The legend of the origin of amethyst comes from Greek myths. Dionysus, the god of intoxication, was angered one day 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 unsuspecting Amethyst, a beautiful young maiden on her way to pay tribute to the goddess Diana. Diana turned Amethyst into a stature of pure crystalline quartz to protect her from the brutal claws. Dionysus wept tears of wine in remorse for his action at the sight of the beautiful statue. The god’s tears stained the quartz purple, creating the gem we know today.
Buying and Caring tips
Tips for Buying Amethyst Jewelry
Prices for these gemstone range between $5 and $100 per carat for a one-carat stone.
Tips to take care of Amethyst Jewelry
Warm soapy water is perfect. An ultrasonic cleaner is usually safe, but a steamer is risky. Avoid acids, intense heat, and prolonged bright light.