Happy Birthday! It’s Amethyst Time.

The color purple has a special following, to say the least. It’s the color of royalty and nobility, and an ancient favorite, exquisitely luxurious and ripe for your favorite glamorous looks. Fortunately, the February birthstone amethyst is in the quartz family – which means it’s practical and affordable! Amethyst jewelry can range from the simplest fashion designs to jaw-dropping masterpieces. It’s “purple power” in action!


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.

The so-called "Delhi Purple Sapphire" (actually an amethyst) is one of the world's most infamous gems.
The so-called “Delhi Purple Sapphire” (actually an amethyst) is one of the world’s most infamous gems.

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.

Love purple? Check out this month's Pinterest board!
Love purple? Check out this month’s Pinterest board!

GIA Gem Encyclopedia: Amethyst →

GIA Amethysts

EarthSky.org: Amethyst Birthstone