Amethyst for February Birthdays
Amethyst, probably one of the gemstones that people most readily recognise and one of the most popular, is the gemstone for February birthdays. It's early use in jewellery goes back to the Egyptians. Amethyst is also closely associated with Valentine's Day - St Valentine himself was believed to have worn a ring with amethyst and an image of cupid.
If you believe in the metaphysical and spiritual properties you will want to know that amethyst is said to calm or stimulate the mind, to enhance the memory and bring restful sleep.
Amethyst is mined continent wide. Each area has its own unique amethyst characteristics and amethyst experts can identify locations just by looking at amethysts. The best varieties are believed to be found in Brazil, Siberia, Sri Lanka and the far east.
Amethyst is the purple variety of quartz, resulting from iron impurities in the quartz and ranges in colour from lavender to deep purple and an amethyst's value is dependent on its colour; with Siberian colour amethysts (rich purple with red or blue flashes) being the most prized. Siberian is a term now used in the gem trade and does not refer exclusively to being the the mines in Siberia. However, the most treasured amethyst is the colour which you prefer.
Green amethyst is really a misnomer, although all green amethysts were purple at some time during their evolution. The official gemological name for green amethyst is prasiolite. Prasiolite is a pale green (leek-green) colour and is commonly formed by excessive heating of purple amethyst crystals to a temperature of around 500ºC . However, not all amethysts can be treated to produce prasiolite; such deposits occur predominately in Brazil. A very small amount of prasiolite does occur naturally where the heat has come from a larva flow.