Amethyst - February Birthstone
Purple Amethyst, is one of the most popular quartz gems. The ancient Greeks thought it to have magical and medicinal powers. Amethyst was thought to protect soldiers, ensure victory, aid hunters, protect against diseases, control evil thoughts, and quicken one's intelligence. It was also thought to increase spirituality.
Amethyst comes in different sizes, even in very large sizes. Color ranges from the palest lilac to a very rich purple. African Amethyst deep purple with red overtones is said to be the gemstones finest in color.
Until the nineteenth century Russia was once the main source of this beautiful gemstone, then was later found in South America. Now it is found in Canada, India, Madagascar, Mexico, Myanmar, Namibia, Sri Lanka, and Tanzania.
Moderately to little pricey depending on the rich purple color and clarity. A rich purple grape Amethyst custom faceted in a unique design, takes ones breath away! One of my personal favorites.
Amethyst is almost always heat treated to richen and improve the color. That kind of heat treatment to the gemstone is very stable. They also heat some amethyst to lighten the color to produce yellow citrine or green quartz.
There is a close related variety of quartz called Ametrine, a interesting combination of yellow citrine and purple amethyst. This gemstone is generally mined in Bolivia and Brazil.
Amethyst is 7 on the Mohs scale for hardness, which makes it a very durable stone to be worn in jewelry. To clean your Amethyst use warm water and dish soap with a soft brush (old toothbrush works). Ultra sonic, usually safe, Steamer risky. Amethyst does not do well in heat, could cause fading or a possible color change. So do not leave your amethyst jewelry out in direct sunlight for long periods. (Car dash would not be a good place for your amethyst.)