February is for Amethyst and Violets
February's birthstone, one of my favourite gems, is Amethyst. Its protective purple colour is said to be naturally calming and uplifting, while providing wisdom to its wearer. The name comes from the ancient Greeks, meaning "not intoxicate" because they believed the owner was protected from drunkeness! These many qualities make it a natural choice for all to wear.
Many cultures have prized amethyst throughout the ages. In Medieval Europe, soldiers wore amethyst amulets into battle as they believed it had the power to heal the body and keep the mind "cool-headed". The Middle Ages saw amethyst to decorate English regalia as purple and "royal blue" were reserved for the Monarchy.
In China, practitioners of Feng Shui believe amethyst increases wealth, removes negative energy and drives away the hazards of daily life.
Bedsides all of these wonderful qualities, I believe the most important is the beauty of amethyst. Purple is an appealing colour to most people and amethyst can range from light lavender to deep violet with secondary hues of red and blue. This variety of shades combined with the relative hardness of amethyst, make it perfect for jewelry as it's highly durable and long lasting.
It's interesting to me how the most prized hue of amethysts are described as violet and that's February's birth month flower. Mary Kelava, of The Floral Prescription, writes extensively on the meaning of flowers. She states that violets represent loyalty and faithfulness which blends so well with the protection of amethyst. Read more about the language of flowers on Mary's blog, The Floral Prescription.