The Amethyst: February Birthstone and More
Diamonds aren’t the only special stones out there to give – you can also look to birthstones and other anniversary traditions! Just over five years ago we wrote a quick little blog outlining the birthstones of January, February and March, but we only offered a short blurb on each. It’s time to rectify that and we’re going to start with the amethyst – February’s birthstone as well as traditional stone for the two different wedding anniversaries!
Amethyst is a type of quartz, specifically a purple quartz. Once upon a time, the gem was believed to have properties to prevent drunkenness! Quartz is the second most common material found in the Earth’s crust – but what makes amethyst, amethyst? It is the iron impurities, trace elements, and irradiation that gives it it’s purple coloring. Amethyst also ranks a hardy 7 on the Mohs scale (equal to steel nails!) making it a great option for jewelry.
Amethyst isn’t just purple, though that is the most commonly recognized color, it can be anything in the range from a deep purple of almost red or blue coloring all the way to a light pink. There may be variants of gradients inside the gem itself and the way its cut can hugely impact what color shows.
Amethyst can be found naturally in geodes, or cavities inside certain types of rocks. These can be found all over the world from the US and Canada to Brazil to Zambia, even here right here in Arizona!
When to Give an Amethyst
As mentioned earlier, amethyst is the birthstone associated with February, so birthdays in the second month of the year make amethyst a safe bet. Historically, amethyst has been associated with keeping the wearer clear-headed and mentally sharp in business and battle.
Any of those inspire? Do you have an upcoming wedding anniversary? Amethyst is the traditional gift for the sixth and seventeenth anniversaries.
Caring for Your Amethyst
As mentioned, amethyst is sitting pretty at a 7 on the Mohs scale, meaning it’s a good stone for daily wear – but it’s not as hard as a diamond (a 10 on the Mohs scale!) This means it can show wear and tear over time and potentially require polishing to get it back to its luster.
And watch out! Other stones like rubies, sapphires, and yes diamonds, are much harder than amethysts so if they are worn together there is a risk for the harder stone scratching the amethyst.
When it comes to cleaning, amethyst can be safely cleaned with warm soapy water and a soft brush. Ultrasonic cleaners can typically be used safely except for in cases where the stone is actually dyed or has had some sort of fracture filling treatment. Heat should never be applied to the stone as heat can cause the color to permanently change.
Amethysts make a great gift for those February babies in your life and the fun historical ‘purposes’ of the stone can also make for a fun option for others. Whether you’re looking for an anniversary gift or a birthday surprise Stewart Kuper Jewelers is here to help!
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