February is one lucky month because it can boast amethyst as its birthstone. Once reserved for royalty, this luxurious gemstone is known for its beautiful purple color. Read on to learn all about this gemstone and get that regal feeling.
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What is the February Birthstone?
February’s birthstone is amethyst. This precious gemstone, which gets its name from the Greek word amethystos, meaning not drunk (more on this below), is as beautiful as it is meaningful. Whether you love this gemstone for its stunning purple hues, its symbolism, or you’re just ready to enter your royal-era, amethyst is a great choice. Wear this gorgeous gemstone day or night, for casual or fancy events, because in addition to everything else, the February birthstone is versatile.
The Symbolism and Meaning of Amythest
There are many beliefs associated with this stunning gemstone. Ancient Greeks believed it could keep you sober, while others believe amethyst brings strength, clarity, and provides protection for those who wear it.
This gemstone is also associated with keeping a clear head, staying calm, and even healing wounds. Many wear amethysts as a means of stress relief and in an effort to attract positive energy. Some even believe amethysts can help strengthen your immune system.
What Color is the February Birthstone?
Amethysts are known for their purple color. This color is derived from the presence of trace elements such as iron, as well as natural irradiation. This process occurs naturally in the earth over the course of millions of years. This color can range from light lilac to a deep, dark purple with reddish tones.
Amethysts can also be heat-treated to achieve other colors including green, blue, and yellow. However, at this point they are no longer considered to be amethysts.
A Brief History of the February Birthstone
While amethysts are stylish gemstones now, they actually have a long history. In ancient Egypt, they were used for protection, as well as in prayer. In medieval Europe, soldiers wore Amethysts to protect them in battle. This stone even appears on the Breastplate of Aaron in the Bible and St. Valentine is said to have worn an amethyst ring with a carving of cupid on it.
Amethysts were not just reserved for royalty, but they were beloved by them, including Catherine the Great of Russia who had an entire collection of amethyst rings, earrings, and more. Wallis, the Duchess of Windsor was also said to favor the gemstone, famously wearing an amethyst necklace to a gala in 1953.
Understanding Amethyst’s Sensitivity and Fragility
Amethyst ranks 7 on the Mohs hardness scale. What does this mean exactly? It means that the February birthstone is durable enough for everyday wear but that you should still be careful around harder gemstones, because those can scratch and dent your amethyst.
Practical Tips for Cleaning and Preserving Amethyst Jewelry
Like all precious gemstones, it is important to properly care for your amethyst jewelry so it will stay as beautiful and bright as the day you buy it. You want to keep it clean and avoid scratches and dents as much as possible.
Follow these tips to protect your February birthstone jewelry.
- Store your amethyst pieces separately, preferably in their original packaging such as soft jewelry bags or boxes.
- Avoid extreme temperatures, particularly intense heat and strong light.
- Remove your jewelry in situations such as: the beach, chlorinated pools, the gym, showering, cleaning, when dealing with lotions and makeup.
Follow these tips to clean your February birthstone.
- Use an ultrasonic cleaner.
- Avoid steam cleaning.
- Fill a bowl with warm water and mild soap. Allow the jewelry to soak, then use a soft-bristle brush to gently remove any dirt. Wipe with a clean cloth and air dry.
What Are the Other February Birthstones?
The main birthstone for February is amethyst, it is both the modern and traditional choice. An alternative option, Jasper is also considered a birthstone for February.
Can amethyst fade or change color over time?
There is a risk that if exposed to extreme heat or sunlight, the color of your amethyst can fade or change.
What is the benefit of the February birthstone?
There are numerous benefits. In addition to the incredible style amethysts add to your look, they are associated with healing and protection.
What is the color for February?
The color for February is purple, the color of its birthstone amethyst.
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With over 10 years of experience writing and editing on a wide variety of subjects, Sarah is a veteran of the content world. Since joining James Allen, she has focused on all things diamonds and fine jewelry with the goal of educating and empowering consumers.