Birthstone for February - Amethyst
Amethyst today is a semi-precious stone, but to the ancients it was a Precious Stone, at times in history worh as much as a Diamond ! It has always been associated with February, the month the Romans dedicated to Neptune, their water-god & is the traditional birthstone of that month. It is the stone of St. Valentine & faithful love & carries the energy of fire, passion, creativity & spirituality. Amethyst is a variety of Quartz found around the world & forms as transparent crystals of all sizes, in geodes, clusters & as long single points. The presence of manganese in clear Quartz produces Amethyst & additional amounts of iron vary the purple coloration. The name Amethyst comes from the Greek word ametusthos, meaning “not intoxicated" & from an ancient legend - The wine god Bacchus, angry over an insult & 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 & 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.