Birth stone for the month of February, the purple colored gem amethyst enjoys a long and interesting history. It is believed to ward off drunkenness and supports celibacy and represents holiness.
Amethyst is the purple variety of quartz and the most valued member of quartz family. It can display a range of shades from lavender, light lilac, mauve to deep purple. Chemically it is silicon dioxide and the presence of little bit of iron and manganese gives it the purple color. Top quality amethyst is a deep medium purple with rose-colored flashes. Most amethyst gemstones on the market today are heat-treated to produce a deeper color.
How to choose the right Amethyst
It’s always advisable to buy amethysts from a reputable and trusted store. Also before buying the gem find out if it has been treated in any way. Common treatments to enhance a gem are heating, irradiation, coating and dyeing. This is very useful information that you should know at the time of buying Amethyst.
Have a good look at the stone if you notice for rose-colored accents within the overall deep purple color as you turn the stone it is a best quality of Amethyst. Also the deep purple amethysts are rarer and so more valuable than light-colored ones. Also make sure that the gem has no visible flaws.
The cut of the stone is also to be checked. See that surface of the amethyst reflects light evenly and that there are no scratches. Turn the stone around in your hand and examine it from all sides. Also before buying it is better to compare several amethysts side by side. Evaluate color and cut, and choose your favorite one.
Amethyst has a hardness of 7 on the Mohs scale. (The Mohs Scale of Hardness measures how well a substance resists scratching by another material). In fact Amethyst is a fairly hard stone and to a large extent is insensitive to scratches and one can wear amethyst on a daily basis. However, there a few things one needs to keep in mind.
Avoid Sunlight and exposure to heat as it can discolor amethyst. Also keep it away from chemicals like household cleaners or hairspray.
For cleaning Amethyst Jewelry use a solution of mild dish soap to remove the grime and dirt gently scrub it with a cloth or soft toothbrush.
Amethyst in History
Amethyst has been the part of royal collections all over the world, from ancient Egypt to the British crown jewels. There used to be a time when it was prized more than many gems like sapphire and ruby. The royal purple color of amethyst was seen as symbol of Christ and so it enjoyed special place in the Christian church and was worn on Bishops’ rings.
Amethyst was a favored gem of Queen Catherine the Great of Russia it was used to decorate the British Crown Jewels. In Graeco-Roman times, rings of amethyst set in bronze were worn as charms against evil. It is also said that wine goblet carved from amethyst banished sorrow and evil from all who drank.
Amethyst at the Red Carpet!
Not just royalty, Amethyst has been a favorite of celebs as well. Heidi Klum, Zoe Saldana, Kelly Osbourne, Debra Messing, Italian supermodel Bianca Balti, Taraji P. Henson, Alicia Keys, Miley Cyrus, Amber Heard, Jaime King, Shaun Robinson, Sofia Vergara and many more have worn amethyst for their red carpet appearances.
Why to Buy Amethyst
It is popular gemstone loved by royalty and the glitterati alike. It has a long legacy being one of the oldest gemstones used in jewelry. Classic purple gem will add class and elegance to any attire.
Read all about January month’s birthstone here.
Know more about February birthstone –