February’s Birthstone -Amethyst

amethystZodiac stone for Pisces
6th Wedding Anniversary stone

Best described as the Stone of Royalty, amethyst is the purple variation of quartz. The best quality beads are colored a deep purple with flashes of red. Mined around the world, amethyst specimens can be traced to a specific region and even the specific mine using its unique colors and inclusions. Mine locations include the USA, Russia, and Australia; while some of the finest examples come from Brazil and Zambia. Since it is so widespread, the cost of even a fine amethyst can be quite reasonable. Some heat treated amethyst stones turn golden or brown and are referred to as citrine, more intensely colored than natural citrine. A few specific mines produce rough material that when heated turns a leafy light green, the source of ‘green’ amethyst.

Since the color purple was rare and associated with royal garments, British monarchs claimed deeply colored amethyst for many crown jewels.  Ancient Greeks considered amethyst to have sobering powers, those drinking wine from an amethyst cup or wearing amethyst would not become intoxicated.  The Greek word ‘amethystos’ means sober, and is the origin of the name amethyst. In antiquity amethyst was often used in religious jewelry, amethyst was a symbol of spirituality and devotion.

Metaphysically speaking, amethyst is considered a calming stone, with a tranquil influence that brings peace to the wearer. It may help in overcoming addictive behavior, and act as a stabilizing influence.

Tips for using amethyst in your jewelry

Amethyst goes well with gold, the cool of purple with the warmth of gold is a good use of contrasting tones.

The purple of amethyst also works well with citrine, as they are similar in material and can be similar in density. Ametrine is a  blend of amethyst and citrine in one stone.

To increase the color richness of amethyst, use purple thread and knot between each bead.

Looking for beads to accent amethyst? Dark purple pearls, grey pearls, amber, yellow opal, quartz crystal, green garnet, and adventurine all are good candidates.

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