Thursday, February 10, 2011


February already?!? Time for a new BIRTHSTONE Rock Review. This month’s birthstone is a beautiful stone ranging in hue from a nearly transparent lilac to deep purple – the lovely amethyst.

Amethyst is a type of rock belonging to the quartz family. Derived from the Greek word meaning "not drunken,” historians believe that the name came from the reddish purple shades of amethyst popular in the Greek states. Most of the amethyst used today comes from areas or regions of Mexico, Brazil, Africa and Uruguay.

According to legend, amethyst originated with Bacchus, the God of Wine. It was believed that drinking wine from a cup made of amethyst would prevent drunkenness and that wearing amethyst would prevent the wearer from becoming drunk being poisoned.

Amethyst is used as faceted stones or polished cabochons (a highly polished rounded unfaceted gem) and is carved in various shapes. Amethyst beads are used in necklaces, earrings and other jewelry in both rough unpolished forms, smooth glossy shapes, faceted beads and briolettes (a gem cut in the shape of a teardrop or oval.) One of the largest cut amethysts in the world is 343 carats and is housed at the National History Museum in London.

For another example of a gorgeous amethyst, please visit my Etsy shop:

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