January 22 – February 21
The most recognized appearance of the amethyst is in the shape of an elongated crystal with a pyramidal tip at one end. These are also known as prismatic crystals and the is a six-sided pyramid. The term “prismatic” refers to a transparent body capable of separating white light into a spectrum when it is passed through it. However, Amethyst also occurs in the form of druzes, or crystalline crusts.
Amethyst is found throughout the world. This is the main reason why this gem remains affordable, otherwise, its beauty and the quality of its color give it exceptional value and, should it become rare, its market value will certainly reach historical heights.
Thankfully, that is not the case at the moment. The amethyst can be found in Mexico, Brazil, Canada, several localities in the United States, Germany, Africa, Russia and Italy. Each locality or mine offers a slight variation. Specialists can identify the provenance of a specimen by observing its physical characteristics, such as shape, color and inclusions.
In truth, the amethyst is a purple variety of quartz. As with other gems in the quartz family, it has a long history of association with wisdom and spirituality. It is also associated with safety and sobriety. In fact, the word amethyst finds its origins in a Greek word that means “not drunken.”
There is some debate regarding the true reason for this nomenclature. Some estimate that the Greeks probably held a belief that the purple gem could ward off drunkenness. A more widely accepted interpretation is that its wine-like color inspired its name, but then why “not drunken?” Only the Greeks knew.
As with the prism that separates white light into its many-colored components, one must consider the broader spectrum of meaning. Drunkenness can be a state of mind having nothing to do with the ingestion of alcohol. Seen in this light (no pun intended, though it is quite fitting), the Greek meaning is said to be “without drunkenness,” which is another way to imply that the gem instills sobriety of mind or spirit, or clarity and integrity.
The latter interpretation seems perfectly in tune with an ancient Egyptian belief about the amethyst, namely that it guarded against guilt and self-deception, two components of the spirit that can only exist in the presence of integrity.
If this happens to be your birthstone, you may find it interesting that, traditionally, purple is the color of royalty. This gem has adorned the headdress and garments of great rulers and monarchs for countless centuries.
If the amethyst is your birthstone, and you were born in February, then your flower is the orchid.
Read about other birthstones HERE
Read about another Druzy