Gem of the Month — February

Purple passion. From refreshing lilac to ripe plum. Amethyst demonstrates the drama and excitement of the color purple.

Perhaps because of its depth and richness, Amethyst has always been associated with intense emotion. For that reason, the legend of its origin is fitting, depicting a tale of revenge, devotion, and immortal remorse.

Legend tells the story of Dionysus, the Greek God of wine, who was insulted one day by a mortal. Enraged, he called forth vicious tigers to exact revenge on the next mortal who would cross his path. Unfortunately, the maiden Amethyst, on her way to pay tribute to the Goddess Diana, was the unlucky traveler. The innocent girl suddenly found herself face-to-face with the tiger companions of the vengeful God. In order to save her from the beasts, Diana turned Amethyst into a statue of pure crystalline quartz. The crystalline maiden was so beautiful that Dionysus, in sorrow and remorse, wept tears of rich wine over the statue. His tears stained the quartz purple, thus creating the poetic gem that still bears her name.

While origins of the name are sadly beautiful Amethyst exhibits happier connotations in modern society. The gem is used to celebrate February birthdays, as well as the fourth, sixth, and ninth wedding anniversaries.

Scientific Qualities:

  • Gem Species: Mozambique - Quartz
  • Hardness - 7
  • Major Sources - Africa, South America
  • Qualities:
    -B: light purple, little or no color zoning, eye clean to slight imperfections
    -A: light to medium purple, little or no color zoning, eye clean to slight imperfections, good cut
    -AA: medium to medium dark purple, little or no color zoning, eye clean to slight imperfections, good cut
    -AAA: Deep purple, little or no color zoning, eye clean to slight imperfections, good cut

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