Not only is the amethyst the birthstone for February, but it is also the gemstone that represents the sixth marriage anniversary. Royalty and power go hand in hand with the beautiful purple stone throughout history, and still today, there are amethysts in the British crown jewels. Amethyst is a hard stone; therefore, it is a durable stone that can be fashioned into any type of jewelry, including rings, bracelets, earrings, necklaces, or pendants.[caption id="attachment_663" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Photo via TownePost Network (Flickr)[/caption]
There is a huge history behind this beautiful purple stone, as people have been wearing the stunning amethyst for many centuries. The gorgeous shade of purple is a representation of royalty, and the Bible references the amethyst many times as a symbol of Jesus. It was one of the stones in the breastplate of Aaron, the high priest, represented Dan, head one of the 12 tribes of Israel, was worn in many bishops' rings, and was also a symbol for St. Matthias.
The word "amethyst" comes from a Greek word meaning "to be sober." In Greek mythology, the goddess Diana turned Amethyst, a young virgin, into a white stone because she was on the receiving end of the drunken wrath of Dionysus. Afterward, Dionysus felt remorseful and accidentally spilled his red wine combined with his salty tears on the white stone, turning it a beautiful shade of purple. It was believed that the amethyst could keep someone from becoming drunk and could keep them in touch with their sound mind.
Throughout history, it was believed that the amethyst could ward off evil thoughts and make the wearer more intelligent. It was thought to protect soldiers from injury and help them achieve victory. It was also said to protect the wearer from demons and sickness and give them complete control over their own mind and thoughts. Even today, in feng shui, the amethyst is said to bring wealth and well-being to its wearer or to the home when used in decorative pieces.[caption id="attachment_662" align="aligncenter" width="300"] http://ow.ly/Jcz6J[/caption]
The amethyst can be found in an array of colors, from a lighter pink to a deep purple. Pure amethyst is colorless, but the stone often appears in more purple hues because of the stone's ability to absorb certain types of light. The value of the stone is lowered if there are brownish or bronze hues found in the stone. Many jewelers view loose amethyst stones face-down on a lit white background so that their color is very noticeable and clear. It is rumored that the amethyst gives its best color in daylight, more specifically soft and warm light, such as right after the sun rises and right before it sets for the day. Artificial light does not display the amethyst's most true color.
Because of the many volcanic rocks located in Brazil, the amethyst is found in abundance there. Uruguay also contains a large amount of the stone. Other locations around the world where the amethyst can be found include Siberia, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Austria, Russia, India and Africa. In the United States, the stone has been found in Arizona, Colorado, Texas, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Maine, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan. There are many areas in Canada where the stone has been found as well.