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FEBRUARY BIRTHSTONE - The Purple Wonder

February is normally quite a dull month with us in the full grip of the winter gods. And if the past few years are anything to go by, February also means dealing with snow!

But have no fear, as February is also the month of the amethyst – glossy, deep, vivid and luscious are just a few words normally reserved to describe this stunning gem.

Looking back in history, amethyst was that desirable that it was placed in the same bracket as diamonds, emeralds and rubies. The Ancient Greeks were said to believe that it had sobering powers and protect from any drunkenness with correlates with the name the gem is derived from, amethusos, which when translated, roughly means sober.  Although we now know this to be untrue, unfortunately, it certainly ties in with the Ancient Greeks decisions to carve amethysts into goblets to drink from – they believed it would prevent them from falling victim to getting drunk and the dreaded hangover.

Medieval European soldIers also believed in the amethyst- it was thought that wearing the gem in an amulet when in battle would protect the wearer from injury, aid healing and keep the wearer calm and cool under pressure. In England, amethyst beads have been found in Anglo Saxon graves.

It is widely believed that the gem is not only a source of protection, but also helps to repel any negative energy and attracts positive energy and vibes. Many spiritualists will wear or have on their body an amethyst when using an Ouija boards for the protection the gem is said to possess.

Although amethysts are usually purple, they can range from a light pink / lilac right through to a vivid, strong violet. Over the course of history, the best amethysts have been found in Siberia, Sri Lanka, the Far East and Brazil – the best colour range for a premium amethyst would contain a purple hue of about 75 – 80%.  Amethysts have a hardness of 7 on the Mohs scale, with puts them in the same bracket as quartz.

The Queen is a lover of amethysts and has brooch which she likes to wear often – a hexagonal amethyst is surrounded by diamonds, set and shaped like sun rays at the bottom and diamond scrolls on the top.  Originally this brooch and many other pieces of The Queen’s jewellery today, were left as a gift to the reigning monarch by Queen Victoria – these pieces will continue to be handed down, queen to queen, over the course of royal history.

If you’d like to feel like a Queen for the day, why not take a look at the wonderful range of amethyst jewellery available at Steffans here!

Image Credit: thebestofcreation.com