The February Birthstone is also known as Amethyst. It has a pretty long history. People have been using the stone as a piece of jewelry for thousands of years. The February birthstone is one of the oldest semi-precious gemstones. People usually use an amethyst stone because it represents clear-headedness.
History and Name
The name Amethyst came from the Greek word Amethystos. The “A” of Amethystos means not, and “methyo” means intoxicated. The Greeks believed that if they drink from an amethyst cup or drink while wearing the amethyst stone, it will protect them from drunkenness. However, During the middle ages, the Anglo Saxons in England believed that wearing the amethyst will keep their head clear from unnecessary thoughts in the battle.
Physical Properties of the Amethyst
The February Birthstone Aka Amethyst is a type of quartz, just like the other semi-precious stones. Whenever the amethyst receives radiation, it's iron impurities transit into silicon, and the stone takes on a violet hue. The optimal grade Amethyst stone has a seventy-five to eighty percent primary purple hue with secondary red and blue hues. Amethyst has a hardness of seven on the Mohs Hardness Scale, which is slightly lower than the emerald. It could be softer than other precious stones, but it is very suitable for many pieces of jewelry that are used regularly. Most of the precious stones are very heat sensitive. That is why their color improves when they receive heat. But in case of amethyst, if it comes in contact with even the moderate heat, it will turn yellow-brown color. The Amethyst stone is also light sensitive. If it has prolonged exposure to the light, then the color of the stone will fade away. However, If the color of the stone is faded, then the original color could be restored with irradiation.
Where to Find:
The February Birthstones could be found in several countries around the world. Among these, Russia, Africa, and South America are the countries where you can find most of the February Birthstones of the world. While Austria isn’t known as a place for finding gemstones, but it has the most abundant opencast amethyst seam. There are pretty reasonable sized deposits of amethysts all over the US and Canada. It is extended from Maine to Arizona. The Amethyst deposits are usually found in diverse areas. It might mean that more amethyst deposits around the world are yet to be found.
Care of Amethyst
Amethyst could be damaged because of heat. To avoid inflicting any damage on the stone, you have to take care of it delicately. When cleaning any loose amethyst, you could use some warm soapy water at most. However, if the water is too hot, then it could affect the color. Any sudden change of temperature could also cause fractures to appear on the stone. If the stone is not fractured, using an ultrasonic cleaner isn’t a problem. However, if the stone is fractured, then the vibrations of the ultrasonic cleaner could damage the stone to the point where it’s beyond repairable.
The February Birthstone is a gem that is not only known for its beautiful color, but it is also available in different sizes and shapes. This gem is one of the most affordable ones.