10 Cool Facts About February’s Birthstone, Amethyst!

posted in: Birthstones | 0

Amethyst specimen rawThis month, you’ve already seen the process of creating a beautiful custom amethyst pendant from scratch, a fitting celebration of this months beautiful birthstone.

From the pale purple hues to the rich, deep purple color most associated with this precious gem, amethyst has been a favorite for centuries.  Let’s look at 10 facts you may not know about amethyst:

  1. Amethyst and citrine are the same stone, except for a difference in mineral impurities.  Both stones are varieties of quartz!  Amethyst gets its color from irradiation and the presence of iron.  Citrine, meanwhile, also gets its color from iron;  however, it is from ferric impurities (from iron containing materials).

  2. In addition to being February’s birthstone, it is also the official gem for the zodiac sign of Pisces.  On another interesting note, amethyst is the official gem for Wednesday.

  3. While amethyst is found in locations all over the world, it is the Far East, Sri Lanka, Brazil and Siberia that are known for producing the best varieties.  In fact, the most desired and sought after grade is a deep purple hue known as “Deep Siberian.”

  4. Amethyst is common in the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Nova Scotia and is the official gemstone of Ontario…which also happens to have the largest amethyst mine in North America in Thunder Bay, on the northwest side of Lake Superior.

  5. If a jeweler ever tries to sell you a gem called “green amethyst” or “lime citrine, blow their mind by saying “Oh, you mean prasiolite.”  Not only is green amethyst incorrect terminology, it is actually against FTC trade guidelines to use that term to sell prasiolite.amethyst pendant custom finished

  6. It has been referred to as the Jewel of the Gods and has traditionally symbolized deep love, happiness, sincerity and wealth.

  7. Amethyst was one of 5 Cardinal Gems recognized by the Old World.  The other Cardinal Gems are ruby, sapphire, diamond and emerald.  These were believed to be the most valuable of all gemstones

  8. Amethyst lost its standing as a Cardinal Gem in the 18th century when extensive deposits, such as in Brazil, were discovered in locations in other parts of the world.

  9. Amethyst has Biblical meaning, as it was the emblem of Matthew, one of Jesus’ Twelve Apostles.

  10. The name of this gem comes from the Koine Greek word “amethystos,” which is translated as “not intoxicated.”  It was believed that it would protect its owner from drunkenness and wine goblets were often made from amethyst.

If you have a gemstone that you would like us to make a beautiful custom piece out of, check out our recent two part series for an example of what we can do for you!   Then give us a call at  (301) 574-4400 or stop by and we can talk about how you want to sparkle and shine.