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The Amazing February Birthstone - Amethyst

Aug 17, 2007
Amethyst is the February birthstone. It is characterized by its purple color but it has other variations from light to deep purple and when subdued to hot temperature it changes to yellow. The yellow colored amethyst is called "burnt amethyst".

Composition of Amethyst

Amethyst is composed of a variety of quartz mineral which is abundant on earth. Quartz makes up 12% of the crust of our planet which appears in the form of metamorphic, sedimentary and igneous rocks.

Historical Background

Amethyst comes from the Greek word "amethystos" which means sober or not drunken. It was believed that the name was given after the color of a wine. This precious stone was said to be used by warriors to avoid intoxication during wars. If you drink wine from amethyst cup, you will be safe from being drunk.

In the early years, the gemstone was thought to be worn by royalties and monarchs. Purple then signifies the color of highness and power. Along the line, the famous Cleopatra was said to have amethyst rings and St. Valentine let his assistant Cupid to wear an engraved pendant made from Amethyst.

Leonardo Da Vinci wrote that Amethyst can dispel evil thoughts and can lead to high intelligence. It has also been mentioned in the Holy Bible that this gem has been one among the 12 stones beautifying the clothes of high priests of Yahweh. Rosaries during those times are made mostly from amethysts. In Tibet, this stone is deemed sacred to Buddha.

Geographic Distribution

Amethyst can be mined in South American countries such Brazil, Uruguay, Bolivia and Argentina, as well as African countries such as in Zambia, Argentina, Namibia, etc.

Here is a list of specific localities from where to find amethyst:

1. Guerrero, Mexico - the stones here are darker and in deep purple. The amethysts found here are considered to be one of most precious amethyst in the world.

2. Vera Cruz Mexico - amethysts here are pale crystallized and have grown in light colored rocks.

3. Maraba, Brazil - the crystals are not fine and in medium or pale colors. These amethysts are often cut and carved.

4. Rio Grande de Sul Brazil - the stones from large volcanic rocks and appears to be quite large.

5. Thunder Bay, Canada - amethyst here is formed from metamorphic rocks and is unique.

6. Uruguay - characterized by brown or gray exterior

7. Africa - there are large stones but are not attractive; however the interior color is clear thus cut pieces from this locality is admired and priced.

8. Maine, USA - they are not available for distribution these days

9. North Carolina, USA - the color of amethysts here are blue-violet

Generally, amethysts of South America are available in larger sizes than in African countries, but the latter stones have finer color and more saturated. On the other hand, amethysts in very dark colors are available on Australian regions.

Amethyst can also be found in the localities of United States and Canada. Few mentioned places are Texas, Pennsylvania, Carolina and Ontario. The stones found here are not fine thus are not usually use for jewelries.

Amethyst is available widely in different shapes and dimensions; fancy shapes are also available but generally, the stones are cut in a standard size.

Metaphysical Characteristics

Amethyst is said to be powerful and can the following benefits to the owner:

- Brings calmness and serenity.

- It can enhance a persons ability to learn new ideas faster.

- Can stabilize minds and a balance of emotional, mental and physical states.

- A person can be tough and good in business.

- It can get rid of all the toxins from the body and can treat arthritis. Other disorders that can be treated are problems in nervous and digestive system. it can also build up the immune system

Amethyst is the gemstone for those under the zodiac signs of Pisces, Virgo, Aquarius and Capricorn. It is also the gemstone for the 17th wedding anniversary.

Amethyst, like other gems have its historical details being decipher from as far as 25,000 years ago. These stones are characterized by its beautiful color and thus quite expensive. Learning through birthstone will give us many information; some quite factual and others fictional; one thing is for sure, studying this birthstone is very interesting!
About the Author
Lee Dobbins writes for http://www.artisan-jewelry-online.com where you can learn more about jewelry and gems.
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