Amethyst, the birthstone for February, represents royalty, power, and vision. Its name has an unusual history rooted in Greek mythology, where it was believed to prevent intoxication – in fact the ancient Romans used wine cups made of amethyst, hoping it would keep them from getting tipsy! Ancients believed it would protect the wearer from poison, bad dreams, and confusion.
With purple being the color of kings, it has long symbolized nobility and divine power. Cleopatra wore a signet ring made from amethyst, and it was also the favorite gem of Catherine the Great.
Amethysts are actually a kind of quartz and come in many shades of purple. Important sources include Brazil, Russia, and the United States.
Their delicate color is unique – classy and feminine – and it’s a perfect match with sterling silver or platinum. Because it can fade over time, it is important to protect your amethyst jewelry from extreme heat and high moisture. You can buff your amethyst jewelry with a soft cloth periodically or have a jeweler use an ultrasonic treatment.
One final tip: Chlorine can do serious damage to an amethyst – so make sure to take it off and put it in a safe place when you go swimming.