If you’re celebrating a birthday this month, chances are you know the beauties and benefits of the February birthstone amethyst. Not only is amethyst beloved for its powerful purple color, it is affordable — even in large sizes — due to its widespread availability.
In other words, amethyst delivers a lot of bling for your buck: it’s a terrific choice for a birthday present or a Valentine’s Day gift for someone you love.
According to the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), amethysts were once equal in value to precious rubies, emeralds and sapphires. Before large quantities of amethyst were discovered, the purple stones were highly prized for royal crown jewels and religious ceremonial ornaments.
Popes and bishops through the years have worn the purple amethyst, as have kings and queens with their “royal purple” vestments. One of the world’s great amethysts can be found in the Crown Jewels in the Tower of London. The Sovereign’s Orb, featuring a large octagonal amethyst, was made for the Coronation of Charles II in 1661.
A Sobering Thought
According to the GIA, the ancient Greeks associated amethyst with Bacchus, the god of wine, because of its purple wine-like color. Ever since, amethyst has acquired the legendary (if not mythical) power to prevent drunkenness, and to keep its wearers clear headed and quick witted.
Try Amethyst with the 2016 Colors of the Year
This year amethyst seems to be more popular than ever thanks to Pantone’s selection of Serenity Blue and Rose Quartz as 2016’s Colors of the Year. Whether worn separately or mixed together in spring prints, both pastel colors will work beautifully with a piece of purple amethyst jewelry.