February Birthstone: Amethyst
Color: Bluish purple to purple to reddish purple
Mohs Hardness: 7-7.5
This month we celebrate purple people with the February birthstone Amethyst!
I have always been a purple person. For 13 years, I went to a school where the colors were purple and gold. Next, I went to a New England liberal arts college where the colors were also purple and gold. Shortly thereafter, I did a brief graduate school stint at NYU, where the color is purple. And then I headed to graduate school at Temple University, where my gremlin professors and my aversion to the University's deep cranberry red color confirmed that I am, without a doubt or hesitation, a purple person.
This year, Pantone's color of the year is PANTONE 18-3838 Ultra Violet, inevitably turning more and more folks into purple people.
So let's talk about the most notable purple stone, the birthstone of February: Amethyst!
Amethyst is the most prized and valuable member of the quartz species. Amethyst is almost always heat treated to help reduce bands of color zoning, a common attribute of the gem caused by natural changes in the growth pattern of the crystal. With a color range from pale lilac to a deep purple, the finest color amethyst has a rich reddish overtone.
Amethyst owes its name to the Greek word 'amethystos', which translates to "not drunken" in English. Folklore and mythology dictate that this wine-colored gemstone is a strong antidote to drunkenness. I am sure more people would wear Amethysts if it were a strong antidote to hangovers, but what are we going to do!
Amethyst and Citrine are sometimes found in the same crystal with color zones of purple and yellow. This variety of quartz is cleverly called: Ametrine. I am very fond of Ametrine due to my lifelong school pride with purple and gold. Not to mention the presence of two colors from opposites sides of the color wheel in the same gemstone creates an eye popping and bold dynamic.
Do you love Amethyst more for its ability to protect you from a night on the town or because it plays so well with its Citrine friends? There are many reasons to love this purple powerhouse, but none more so than the belief that it is able to protects your physical environment from negative energies. This may have something to do with the fact that a Quartz crystal is a piezoelectric material...
Piezoelectric means that it produces and accumulates electric charge when subjected to mechanical stress. Basically, when a quartz crystal is subjected to strain (by bending it or applying pressure), it vibrates at a consistent rate. This is how quartz batteries work in your watch! The battery charges a thin sheet of quartz with strain causing the quartz to oscillates (vibrates back and forth) at a consistent rate of 32,768 times each second. This makes the mechanism of the watch tick.
Amethyst clearly comes from a wicked cool family.
^ This is a "drawing" of an amethyst geode done LIVE by my friend diamondoodles at the JCK Tucson Show in 2016. She uses faceted gemstones to draw all kinds of fun things. This is one of my favorites!