Amethyst is the birthstone of February. it is also associated with the zodiac signs of Pices, Aries, Aquarius and Sagitarius.
Throughout history Amethyst has been one of the most popular and mystical of all gemstones. Its use in very rudimentary jewellery can be traced back as far as the Neolithic period (approx 4000BC) and samples of it set into gold rings have been uncovered in burial sites from around 2400BC.
Amethyst is mentioned in the old testament as one of the twelve stones representing the twelve tribes of Israel and was also one of the twelve gemstones adorning the breastplate of the high priest Aaron (Exodus 39).
Amethyst occurs in many shades, from a light, slightly lavender pinkish to a deep purple similar to that of Cabernet Sauvignon grape. Amethyst is also pleochroic, which means that when light hits the gem, sahdes of different colours such as reds and blues can be seen from different angles.
The Amethyst gemstone is a hard a durable gemstone measuring 7 on the Mohs scale. In its rough state, the gem often forms long prismatic crystals, making it ideal for cutting. Because its colour can appear banded, it is usually cut into round brilliant shapes which helps the gem display a more uniformed colour.
Amethyst is considereda symbol of peace of mind, modesty and piety. Some believe that Amethyst holds powers to change anger to tranquility and is used by crystal healers to revert negative energy into positive energy. It is popular for its healing and medative powers, and purifies the mind, body and spirit, helping to realign the chakras.