The ancient Greeks and Romans believe this wine-colored quartz would keep them from getting drunk.
If you were born in February, your birthstone is amethyst – the purple variety of quartz that has captivated mankind for millennia. There are few gemstones in the world that are both affordable and worthy of a duchess’s attention. Consider buying a stunning amethyst for the king or queen of your heart – or treat yourself to a royal present. If your birthday is in February, then wearing an amethyst can also be a symbol of personal empowerment and inner strength, and even, as the legend goes, amethyst has the ability to prevent you from getting sloshed.
The name “amethyst” derives from the Greek amethystos, which means “a remedy against drunkenness,” a benefit long ascribed to the purple birthstone. Because of its wine-like color, early Greek mythology associated the gem with Bacchus, the god of wine. Amethyst was also believed to keep the wearer clear headed and quick witted in battle and business affairs. Renaissance Europeans thought it calmed lovers overrun by passion.
Long a favorite of royal families, consider yourself in good company if you follow in the footsteps of Catherine the Great (Empress Catherine II of Russia, 1729–1796), who had a penchant for the gem and decked herself in amethyst necklaces, earrings and other ornaments, and the infamous jewelry connoisseur Wallis, Duchess of Windsor (1896–1986), who made a memorable statement when she wore a lavish Cartier-designed amethyst bib necklace to a gala in Versailles in 1953.
Bacchus and The Origin Story - For the romantics, there are several tales in Greek mythology that tell the story of Bacchus and Amethyste, a maiden that he pursues yet is rescued by Diane by turning her into a white stone. Bacchus, mourning his love, pours a glass of wine over the sculpture, dying her purple.
Deep Violet Hues - Amethyst is a purple quartz, its beautiful violet hue can range from a light pink to a deep purple. The most desired color is known as “Deep Siberian” and has a primary purple hue of around 75 to 80 percent, with 15 to 20 percent blue and (depending on the light source) red secondary hues.
DaVinci was a Fan - Leonardo da Vinci wrote that amethyst had the power to dissipate bad thoughts and to sharpen intelligence.
Amethyst Wine Glasses – Ancient Greeks & Romans frequently studded their goblets with or carved them from Amethyst believing it would prevent them from getting drunk.
Celibacy and The Clergy - Symbolizing devotion and supposed to encourage celibacy, amethyst was often used by churches in the Middle Ages for their ornamentation. It was often reserved as the stone of bishops, who still wear it often.
Care and Cleaning
Amethyst is appropriate for daily use in rings and other jewelry, but over time it may show wear and require repolishing. Because this February birthstone is more susceptible to damage than harder gems such as rubies, sapphires and diamonds, you risk scratching your amethyst jewelry if you place it next to these harder stones...
Amethyst birthstone jewelry can be cleaned with an ultrasonic cleaner, but steam cleaning is not recommended. A soft brush with mild soap is always the safest option.