Have you ever wondered why purple is part of the sea of red and pink Valentine's Day colors so popular in February? Look no further than amethyst, the stunning birthstone for this romantic month.

About Amethyst

Amethyst is a variety of quartz, but rather than a clear stone, it is purple from iron impurities in the crystal structure as well as the effects of different types of irradiation. The shade of purple can range from the lightest lilac to deep, rich purple, and may also have blue or reddish undertones in the color resulting from other trace elements in the crystal. Deeper colors with reddish tones are the rarest and most highly valued, but all shades of amethyst have their own distinctive beauty.

Because of the uniform crystalline structure of amethyst, the carat weights of these stones can be quite large and dramatic. This means that smaller stones are generally much more common and less expensive, but amethyst is highly valued when it reaches large carat weights with relatively flawless structures.

Amethyst is mined all over the world, with productive mines found in Brazil, Uruguay, South Korea, India, Zambia, Austria, Russia, Germany, Italy, Mexico and Canada. In the United States, these purple stones are mined in Arizona, Colorado, Texas, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota. In addition to all these major mining sites, amethyst can also be found in smaller quantities in many other locations around the world, making it widely available for all types of jewelry.

Amethyst Symbolism

Because of its widespread availability, amethyst has been given many symbolic meanings and associations since it was first used as an ornamental stone or talisman. In ancient Greece and Rome, amethyst was believed to serve as an antidote or preventative to drunkenness or intoxication. In Europe, deeper purple amethysts were reserved for royalty.

Amethyst Symbolism

Other qualities associated with amethyst include piety, humility, sincerity and wisdom, as well as spirituality. The stone represents faithful love and chastity, along with sincerity, calmness, patience and peace. In healing practices, amethyst is said to help promote the healing of wounds.

Amethyst was once considered one of the cardinal precious gemstones, until large deposits were discovered in Brazil in the 1700s, at which time the crystal was "demoted" to semiprecious gemstone.

Today, amethyst is not only associated with the February birthstone, but is also a symbolic gem for the zodiac signs of Aquarius and Pisces. It is also considered the anniversary gem for the sixth and seventeenth wedding anniversaries.

Amethyst Rings and Jewelry

Long before amethyst stones were cut, polished and faceted to be mounted in jewelry, the stones themselves were engraved and carved into protective figures and amulets, even as early as 2000 BC. The carvings were often used on goblets and scepters, or smaller carvings were fashioned as beads for bracelets, necklaces and pendants.

Amethyst Rings and Jewelry

Today, amethyst is popular in a variety of jewelry settings. Large, dramatic amethyst stones are often mounted alone and can be very impactful in a simple piece of jewelry, or these stones are mounted with diamonds or other accent stones for additional glamour. This gem is popular in Art Deco rings and jewelry, and is often found in all types of gold settings, including not only classic yellow or white gold, but also rose gold and two-tone designs.

In addition to rings, amethyst is popular in pendants, brooches and earrings, and it is possible to find lovely matched pieces of amethyst to create complete sets of coordinating jewelry with the beauty of this stone.

Other February Birthstones

Because of its versatility, amethyst is the only widely recognized birthstone for February, but there are other gems casually associated with this romantic month as well. Blood-stone and garnet are occasionally considered alternate February birthstones depending on the classification, and other gems are associated with different star signs in the month, including agate, sapphire, ruby, opal and turquoise. Still, amethyst stands alone as the most popular option and the go-to stone for celebrating special days in February.

See our complete collection of amethyst rings to celebrate this romantic month!

February Birthstones