Amethyst, the birthstone dedicated to the month of February, comes from the term ‘amethystos’ meaning ‘sober’ in Greek. Join us to discover how the amethyst became known as the gem to prevent drunkenness!
The mythical history behind this birthstone tells of a maiden called Amethystos who found herself in an unfortunate event. Bacchus, the Roman God of wine, had vowed to punish the next mortal he saw with death as he had been insulted by one too many pesky mortals that day. Little did Amethystos know when she was merrily on her way to worship at the Temple of Diana, she was about to cross paths with Bacchus and meet a terrible death. As this altercation was about to play out, apparently involving a mob of angry tigers, Diana intervened and turned Amethystos into stone protecting her from meeting a grizzly fate.
Bacchus, suddenly clutched by the hands of remorse, either poured or cried (we think the latter, as it’s more dramatic) red wine over the stone and turned it purple. It was then, with a Roman God grizzling over a statue of a maiden, amethyst was born.
How is amethyst formed?
The science behind the gem is fascinating. Amethyst is a quartz stone formed inside a geode, which must be cracked open to reach a cavity full of crystals. These form if near lava or volcanic rock and are filled with liquid containing iron which eventually form rhombohedrons (6 sided pyramids) of amethyst.
Where is it found?
Amethyst is common and found worldwide across all continents. The largest deposits are mined in Artigas, Uruguay and the Rio Grande. They exist in a range of colours, from the well-known purple to red and blue tones of lilac. Once mined, the gems can be sold in their geode form, smoothed to a stone or crafted into jewellery, furniture or trinkets. We’ve picked a few of our favourite pieces from our current stock, look at what an amethyst geode can transform into!
There was a time when amethyst was worn only by royalty and had an equal value to rubies, sapphires and emeralds. The gems were believed to be an antidote against intoxication and banquet goblets were made from the gemstone for that reason.
Amethyst is considered a therapeutic stone with healing abilities, believed to help in balancing emotions and reducing some of the harmful effects of stress. There are lots of stories online from people saying they were anxious but after wearing the gemstone, found a stillness enabling them to take the world one step at a time.
The rich history behind our February birthstone gives it a personality perfect to appeal to all people. Romantic nostalgia is a beautiful sentiment to put behind a gift of jewellery. Whilst the amethyst stone might not hold the same value as it once did, there are many connections to be made just as important.
We always have unique and interesting jewellery and watches in our stores, so if you’re looking for inspiration pop in and see us! If you have some stories to share about your own amethyst birthstone, tell us about it on social media! You can find us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.