February Birthstone: Amethyst

 Amethyst Birthstone

This month we celebrate February birthdays and their lovely birthstone - Amethyst. Before the 19th century, Amethyst was not yet discovered in Brazil making it as expensive as Emerald or Ruby. Today it is the most valued member of the Quartz family found in many locations around the world making it an affordable and colorful addition to your jewelry collection. 


With its rich purple color it is not surprising that the gemstone was once associated with the tears of Bacchus, the god of wine, and more that its name derives from the Ancient Greek word methustos, meaning “intoxicated”.  Ancient wearers believed the gemstone would protect them from drunkenness and to Christian scholars it is regarded as “the bishop’s stone” for its power to provide clarity and sobriety. 


Physical Properties:

Color: Purple, the most popular color being a reddish purple with rich saturation. 

Chemical Composition: SiO2

Family: Quartz

Crystal Structure: Hexagonal 

Specific Gravity: 2.65 

Mohs Hardness: 7

Refractive Index: 1.544 - 1.553 

Luster: Vitreous

Uses: Cabochons, faceted stones, beads, tumbled stones, ornamental objects

Anniversary: Amethyst celebrates the 6th and 17th year of marriage


Where is Amethyst found?

Brazil and Uruguay are the most significant producers of Amethyst, found in several areas in large deposits, usually in the cavities of basalt flows. These cavities can contain hundreds of pounds to several tons of amethyst crystals. These cavities are commonly known as geodes, which we see opened in halfs to see inside a sparkling spectacle of crystals and purple colorplay.  Take a moment to Google search Amethyst furniture or head up to the Tucson gem and mineral show to stand inside massive geodes that span feet above your head! We wouldn’t mind having an Amethyst table in our studio, what do you all think? 

Other deposits can be found across the Atlantic and the United States. Zambian Amethyst is known to produce smaller stones but its the dark color and beautiful clarity that makes it some of the world’s most sought after. In the United States we find it in Arizona, Texas, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Maine and Colorado. The largest mine in North America is located in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada.


The Empress of Uruguay

Empress of Uruguay

This magical 11-foot tall and 2.5 ton specimen is the world’s largest amethyst geode extracted in the Artigas region in northern Uruguay. It is the biggest attraction at the Crystal Caves Museum in Atherton, Australia. The museum founders purchased the massive geode for $75,000 in 2007 and it cost an additional $25,000 to just transport it! We highly recommend checking out their website. They offer self guided tours through the man-made tunnels and grottos with 600+ specimens to view. 





Where does Amethyst get its color?

Amethyst is most commonly recognized by its purple color. This purple ranges from light violet to a deep purple with hints of blue or red. Because the crystal grows slowly, their environment changes where metals like iron are incorporated into the crystal’s surface and radiation emitted by minerals in the rock end up modifying the iron to give us varying depths of the color purple. This is known as color zoning, having different zones of color intensity based on its journey in the earth. Similar to tree growth rings. Much of today’s Amethyst has been heat treated to deepen its purple hues. This enhancement is permanent and will not fade over time. Like many gemstones there are synthetic versions and to an untrained eye can fool a buyer. Check in with us or your local jeweler with a certified Gemologist to know if you have the real deal.


Healing and Spiritual Beliefs 

Amethyst crystals are used as meditation objects thought to provide inner strength, protection and clarity of the mind. It is also used to help cleanse a space of negativity and in turn attract positive energy. 


Color Psychology

Creativity, Serenity, Wealth, Courage and strong relationships. The color purple has been tied to royalty for centuries and was once limited to only those in power. 



Amethyst demands very little attention but should still be cleaned often to avoid buildup from lotions, cosmetics, and dirt, which can begin to dull its brilliance. Use mild dish soap in warm water for a few minutes and pat dry with a dry soft cloth. For deep cleaning your Amethyst jewelry have a jeweler give it proper pampering.


Custom Design with Amethyst 

Add a little Amethyst to your life with our design team! We work with your beloved gemstones or are able to source for you from trusted partners. The possibilities are endless!