February Birthstone: Amethyst
While a modern list of birthstones wasn’t developed until 1912 (which was subsequently updated in 1952), the concept of birthstones is much older. While their exact origin isn’t known, some believe the birthstone idea dates back to the 8th century, while others think it could go back to the 1st.
Regardless of when gems became connected to each month, many consider them beautiful symbols. As a result, some people seek out birthstone jewelry for themselves. In other cases, birthstone jewelry is regarded as an ideal gift for loved ones. If you want to find February birthstone jewelry, here’s what you need to know.
What is the Birthstone for the Month of February?
While some months have multiple birthstones, not all do. Since the release of the National Association of Jewelers list in 1912, February has only had one. The birthstone of February is the amethyst, a form of quartz.
Amethyst, like most quartz, is relatively plentiful. It can be found in granitic rock cavities or geodes from all around the world. Just some of the location sources are Canada, the United States, Zambia, and Brazil.
The name “amethyst” is said to derive from “methustos,” an Ancient Greek word that means “intoxicated.” In ancient times, people thought that wearing amethyst gave them protection against drunkenness.
While wearing a gemstone has never been proven to provide the wearer with any benefits, some spiritual practices think doing so does help the wearer, including folk beliefs, that some think align with amethysts. For example, some people feel that amethyst promotes a sense of peace or balance or even inner strength. At times, others associate amethyst with courage as well.
What is the February Stone Color?
The birthstone color for February is purple. In fact, the amethyst might be the quintessential purple birthstone. While certain other gemstones may come in purple hues, those versions aren’t typically viewed as being reflective of the potentially associated birthstone.
Amethyst, unlike some other birthstones like topaz and sapphire, doesn’t come in multiple colors. For quartz to qualify as amethyst, it has to be purple, period. However, the shade of purple can vary. Anything from deep eggplant to a light lavender can all be considered amethysts. It’s also okay if the purple color leans toward the red or blue side, such as plum or indigo, respectively.
Often, how an amethyst is cut impacts the appearance of its color. Since the cut alters how light bounces off of and crosses through the stone, it may lead the February birthstone to have a redder or bluer look or even make it seem as if it changes color.
Amethyst Birthstone Jewelry
If you’re looking for amethyst birthstone jewelry, you are often overrun with options. Since amethyst is reasonably affordable, fairly accessible, and a favorite gemstone choice for many (both as a birthstone and for anyone who adores the color purple), it’s widely available on the jewelry market.
You’ll be able to find amethyst rings, necklaces, pendants, earrings, and bracelets without much trouble. In some cases, they’ll feature cut stones in popular shapes including round, princess, oval, emerald, pear, cushion, teardrop, marquis, and heart. At times, you might even spot amethyst cabochons. Amethyst beads are also popular, so they aren’t hard to track down. Many people also like raw amethyst crystals, so you may find this option on pendants, rings, and earrings.
As for supporting metals, you’ll also find a broad selection. While silver, white gold, and yellow gold are the most common, there are alternative metals available, too. For example, you might be able to find amethyst paired with rose gold or platinum.
You may also find amethyst birthstone jewelry with other stones. For example, you might discover amethyst in a cluster setting, a multi-stone design that may feature a set of the same gems or several gemstones together. Finding amethyst partnered with other gemstones like citrine, peridot, and topaz is relatively common. Additionally, you might find an amethyst paired with diamond side stones or halos are also popular for rings.
While amethyst jewelry can be quite affordable, expensive pieces are also readily available. Depending on the size, quality, and cut, even an amethyst solitary can get spendy. Additionally, if you have a multi-stone design, the cost of the other stones plays a role. Which supporting metal it involves further impacts the price tag.
Stones Similar to the February Birthstone
While purple isn’t as common as some other gemstone colors, there are amethyst alternatives out there. Purple sapphires do exist. However, since they are rare, they can cost quite a bit.
Tanzanite may also resemble amethyst, though it tends to be a bit bluer. The same goes for iolite, which tends to lean toward the blue side of the scale.
Purple topaz and purple spinel can be somewhat balanced, not being overly warm or cool. However, that isn’t always the case. It isn’t uncommon for purple topaz to come across a bit pinkish. As for purple spinel, it can vary depending on the exact stone, with some leaning blue and others being a bit pink.
On the warmer side, purple tourmaline may have an appearance that mimics some amethysts. However, many of them will look closer to a deep pink or raspberry instead of true purple. There are also purple garnets that have a rosy hue that is purple-tinged, but it also tends to come across as closer to a pink.
For cabochons, some pieces of charoite might look a bit like amethyst. They tend to be a strong purple, though, if the swirling pattern is particularly strong, it might not stand in well for an amethyst.