Amethyst - Stone of the Month February 29 2012, 0 Comments

Amethyst Brooch and Pendant with GoldHey Everyone, February is ALMOST over, but since it is a leap year I get one more day to post this new monthly blog series - The Stone of the Month. The birthstone for February is the amethyst, which is a crystalline quartz that comes in the colors of purple, lilac and mauve. The name of the stone comes from the Greek word 'amethystos' which means 'not intoxicated', and was given to the stone because the Greeks believed it helped against drunkenness and installed a sober and serious mind.
The ancient Egyptians believed that the amethyst helped against guilty and fearful feelings, as well as protection from self-deception and witchcraft. In ancient Tibet, the stone with its many healing powers, was dedicated to the Buddha and was said to promote clarity of mind .

Uncut rough amethyst
Today the amethyst is still used as a meditation aid, for blood and breathing problems, in addition to headaches and insomnia. The stone possesses healing powers which are said to keep the air and life force of a home clean and positive. While the hardness, the refraction, and the weight of the stone are very similar to most quartzes, the crystal structure is different and rather unconventional. Often, only the top layer of the stone has its dominant purple color (the bottom tends to be a milky white color), which is why there are very few large-cut amethysts with an evenly distributed dark color. The reason for this is still not completely certain, but scientists are fairly sure that the iron constituents in connection with natural radioactive radiation are to "blame" for it. In the past, the amethyst was considered to be quite valuable, but today we know of many large deposits especially in Brazil, Uruguay, and Madagascar, which is why it has lost a lot of its value.
Photo Credits for Uncut Amethyst: flickr.com - Mauro Cateb