February's Beautiful Birthstone: Amethyst
Amethyst has been a prized gem for centuries. It is the birthstone for the month of February, and the gemstone for the 6th anniversary of marriage. The royal purple color was used to symbolize Christ, and has had many positive attributes throughout history.
According to Greek mythology, Amethyst was a pure young girl who became the object of wrath of the Greek God Dionysus after he became intoxicated with red wine. When Amethyst cried out to Goddess Diana for help, she immediately turned the girl into a white, shimmering stone (quartz). When Dionysus realized what had happened and felt remorse for his actions, his tears dripped into his goblet of red wine. The goblet overturned, and the red wine spilled all over the white rock, saturating it until it became the purple quartz that is now known as Amethyst.
The name amethyst derives from the ancient Greek word amethustos, meaning sober. It was said that an amethyst could instill a sober and serious mind. It was believed that if a person drank from a cup or goblet made entirely of amethyst, he or she would not get drunk at all. Ancient Egyptians also used the stone as the representative of the zodiac sign of the goat. The goat was considered the enemy of vines and vineyards, and therefore the antidote of wine.
Amethyst has had many attributes throughout history, and all of them are good. The stone was thought to control evil thoughts, quicken intelligence, preserve soldiers from battle wounds, aid the warrior to victory, help the hunter in search of his game and protect the wearer from contagious diseases. Amethyst was known as a gem that would bring forth the highest, purest aspirations of human kind. The gem was believed to guard against the anger of passion, and the violent nature of its wearer. The beautiful purple stone is representative of calm, bravery, and contemplation.
Historically, the stone was believed to assist prophecy and visions and to bring riches and powers to its owners. At the highest level, amethyst bestows the spiritual understanding required to reach the state of bliss. It is a good stone to solve discord, suggested for children and warring relatives.
Today, this brilliant purple gem is primarily found in jewelry, either shining on its own or accented with other precious stones. It continues to look stunning with both white and yellow gold, perfect for any occasion!