Monday, February 2, 2015

Amethyst, The Crystal With A Mysterious Energy

Oval Cut Amethyst
Birthstones Series - February Amethyst 

The official birthstone for the month of February is Amethyst, a gemstone that has been highly esteemed throughout the ages for its stunning beauty and legendary powers to stimulate and soothe the mind and emotions. Amethyst has always been associated with the month of February and it is said to be the stone of St. Valentine and faithful love. It carries the energy of fire and passion, creativity and spirituality, yet bears the logic of temperance and sobriety.

The Greek word "amethystos" may be translated as "not drunken", from the Greek a- "not" + methustos "intoxicated".  In Ancient times, Amethyst was considered to be a strong antidote against drunkenness, which is why ancient Greeks and Romans routinely studded their goblets with Amethyst believing that wine drunk from an Amethyst cup was powerless to intoxicate.

The legend of the origin of amethyst comes from the Greeks. Dionysus, the Greek god of the grape harvest, winemaking and wine, got angry over an insult and determined to avenge himself.  He decreed that the first person he should meet would be devoured by his tigers. The unfortunate mortal happened to be a beautiful maiden named Amethystos on her way to worship at the shrine of Artemis. As the ferocious beasts sprang, she sought the protection of the goddess and was saved by her by being turned into a pillar of clear, white crystal. Dionysus, regretting his cruelty, poured the juice of his grapes over the stone as an offering, giving the gem its lovely purple hue.
The Empress of Uruguay
By today’s classifications amethyst is a semiprecious stone, but to the ancients it was a “Gem of Fire,” a precious stone worth at times in history as much as a Diamond. It belongs to the microcrystalline branch of quartz and it occurs in primary hues from a light pinkish violet to a deep purple (due to iron and aluminum impurities), sometimes exhibiting red and blue secondary hues. The best varieties of Amethysts can be found in Siberia, Sri Lanka, Brazil and the Far East. Green quartz is sometimes incorrectly called green amethyst, which is a misnomer and not an appropriate name for the material, the proper terminology being Prasiolite.

Situated just an hour from the Cairns international Airport on the beautiful Atherton Tablelands, The Crystal Caves are home to the world’s biggest Amethyst Geode, “The Empress of Uruguay”. At well over 11 feet tall and weighing 2.5 tons, its size is certainly impressive but it is the sheer beauty of the tens of thousands of perfect, deep purple Amethyst crystals that nature has formed naturally inside, that truly amaze everyone who sees her.

An interesting gemstone from the same family (and a favorite of mine) is Ametrine, a natural bicolor combination of amethyst and citrine. Color band combinations in ametrine can range from pale-violet to deep-purple and from pale-yellow to gold-brown. The colors of the zones visible within Ametrine are caused by different oxidation states of iron within the crystal, which occurred due to temperature changes across the crystal during its formation.

Amethyst is a powerful and protective stone, a crystal with a mysterious energy. It is said to be a meditative and calming stone that works in the emotional, spiritual, and physical planes to provide calm, balance, patience, and peace.

Sources: Wikipedia, Gem Select and Crystal Vaults. Images courtesy of Gem Select and Panoramio 

Happy Birthday to all February babies!

For quality one-of-a-kind jewelry created with Amethyst please visit ADORA by Simona.