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Amethyst: The History and Meaning of February’s Birth Stone

Updated: Apr 21, 2020

Facts & History

The birthstone for the month of February, and the official gem for Wednesday, Jupiter and those born under the sign of Pisces, Amethyst is the name given to purple Quartz and its name is thought to have derived from the Greek word ‘Amethustos’, ‘a’ meaning ‘not’ and ‘methustos’ meaning ‘to intoxicate’. Many years ago, wealthy lords were said to pour water into amethyst goblets while their guests drank wine. The purple colour of the amethyst disguising the colour of the drink so the wealthy lords could look like they were drinking while still remaining sober. In ancient times it was also believed that you could save someone intoxicated from delirium if you mixed crushed amethyst into their drink.Greek mythology tells a story of Dionysus, the god of intoxication, and a young beautiful maiden, named Amethystos, who refused his advances. While Amethystos was on her way to pray to the goddess Diana, Dionysus released a pack of ferocious tigers but before they could get to her, Diana turned Amethystos into a clear quartz statue to protect her. Distraught at what he had almost done to Amethystos, Dionysus wept tears of wine turning the clear quartz purple and creating Amethyst.Amethyst’s use in jewellery can be traced back as far as the Neolithic period (approximately 4,000 BC) and samples of it set into gold rings have been uncovered in burial sites from around 2,400 BC. In the Old Testament, amethyst was one of the twelve stones representing the twelve tribes of Israel and also one of the twelve gemstones adorning the breastplate of the high priest Aaron It’s been set into rings and worn by Bishops and Priests since the Middle Ages and highly prized by royalty with several pieces featured within the British Crown Jewels. Amethyst was also known as a personal favourite of Catherine the Great.A crystal with intense energy, Leonardo da Vinci believed amethyst had the power to control evil thoughts and to enhance intelligence while the Hebrews named amethyst “ahlamah,” which means “dream” as the stone was said to cause dreams and visions. Amethyst has been used to symbolise deep love, happiness, humility, sincerity and wealth and St Valentine, the patron saint of romantic love is said to have worn an Amethyst ring carved with the image of Cupid. This lead to Amethyst becoming February's birthstone. Amethyst occurs in many shades, from pastel pinks to deep velvety purples, and can also be pleochroic meaning flashes of different colours such as fuchsia pinks and tanzanite blues can be witnessed at different angles when the stone interacts with the light

Properties & Healing

Amethyst is the stone of spirituality and contentment and is known for its metaphysical abilities to still the mind and inspire an enhanced meditative state. It’s amethysts colour that stimulates the highest vibration of the Third Eye but it also creates a protective shield of light around the body, allowing you to remain clear and centred.Amethyst is also well known for balancing the crown chakra so be sure to call on its powers if you’re feeling “not with it”, blocked, or mentally clumsy. Named by many as the “All-healer” and “Natures tranquilliser”, amethyst calms soothes and eases mental anxieties, making it one of the most effective crystals for healing people, plants and animals.Because of its breathtaking aesthetics, amethyst is often used to decorate the home, however, there are many metaphysical benefits when placed in specific rooms. A piece of amethyst under your pillow or mattress, or rubbed on the centre of the forehead anti-clockwise can stimulate pleasant dreams and cure insomnia. Placing amethyst in the living room can help families communicate openly, and by placing an amethyst on your office desk, you’ll not only feel the joy from looking at it but it can help with decision making and stress relief. The same principle goes for the bathroom where you can enhance your relaxing bath, easing away the tension from the day.

Here at Rock Chic we are passionate about amethyst and carry everything from tumble stones, to cluster geodes to bracelets and rings. To see view the entire collection click HERE and don't hesitate to reach out if you have any questions.

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