Birthstone for February - Amethyst
Amethyst has been esteemed throughout the ages for its stunning beauty and legendary powers to stimulate, and soothe, the mind and emotions. Today it is a semi-precious stone, but to the ancients it was a “Gem of Fire,” a Precious Stone worth, at times in history, as much as a Diamond ! It has always been associated with February, the month the Romans dedicated to Neptune, their water-god, and is the traditional birthstone of that month. It is the stone of St. Valentine and faithful love and it carries the energy of fire and passion, creativity and spirituality. Amethyst is a variety of Quartz found in many locations around the world, and forms as transparent, crystals of all sizes in geodes, clusters and as long single points. The presence of manganese in clear Quartz produces Amethyst, while additional amounts of iron vary the purple coloration. The name Amethyst derives from the Greek word ametusthos, meaning “not intoxicated,” and comes from an ancient legend. The wine god Bacchus, angry over an insult and determined to avenge himself decreed the first person he should meet would be devoured by his tigers. The unfortunate mortal happened to be a beautiful maiden named Amethyst on her way to worship at the shrine of Diana. As the ferocious beasts sprang, she sought the protection of the goddess and was saved by being turned into a clear, white crystal. Bacchus, regretting his cruelty, poured the juice of his grapes over the stone as an offering, giving the gem its lovely purple hue.