History and Features of the Amethyst Birthstone - ICKINGER |

History and Features of the Amethyst Birthstone


Origins of the Amethyst:


The amethyst is the official birthstone for the month of February. Known as the Royal Gem, it has been used by numerous monarchies throughout the ages for healing and fine jewellery.

Its history dates back thousands of years to the Ancient Greeks. The name amethyst stems from the Greek word “amethystos” which literally translates to “not drunken”. According to Greek mythology, the amethyst has the power to prevent inebriation and therefore prevented one from becoming intoxicated.

A more romanticised myth is the tale of Dionysus, the God of wine and merriment, who was so angry after being insulted by a human that he decided to exact vengeance on the next mortal who crossed his path. That mortal happened to be Amethyst. He unleashed two tigers to attack her.

Amethyst cried out to the Goddess Diana for help who responded by turning her into a clear quartz statue to protect her. However, while protected from the attack, the spell couldn’t be broken. Dionysus, consumed with regret, started weeping. His tears fell into his goblet of wine, which spilt onto the statue causing it to turn into the purple gem known as Amethyst.


Characteristics of an Amethyst Gemstone:


Amethyst is a type of macro-crystalline quartz identified by its colour, which can range from pale lilac to violet, to a dark purple.

Amethyst gets its colour from the iron in its crystalline structure. Gamma radiation in the surrounding rock irradiates the quartz. The iron minerals are consequently irradiated as well, producing its purple colour.

The colour is its most important quality. The deeper the hue, the higher the price tag. The most coveted amethyst is the Siberian Amethyst. It has a deep violet hue with blue and red inflections visible with the naked eye. They are extremely rare and valuable.

It has a hardness rating of 7 on the Mohs scale and does not break or cleavage. This affords it great durability and strength, making it suitable for jewellery and frequent use.


Types of Amethyst Gemstones:


There are three main types of amethyst stones:


1. Bi-Colour Amethyst, also called Ametrine, occurs when citrine naturally combines with amethyst due to environmental changes. This results in a stone with two contrasting colours.

2. Prasiolite is an amethyst that has naturally been heat-treated to change its colour. They are found in varying shades of green with subtle hints of yellow and sometimes purple as well.

3. The Lavender Amethyst, or Rose De France Amethyst, has a more delicate colour and are often found in shades of pastel lilac and pink.





February 6, 2020

Amethyst: The Royal Gemstone

History and Features of the Amethyst Birthstone Origins of the Amethyst: The amethyst is the official birthstone for the month of February. Known as the Royal […]