Birthstones - Brilliant Jewelers

Amethyst is the birthstone for the month of February & anniversary gemstone for the 6th and 33rd year of marriage.


The most popular origin story of the amethyst comes from Greek myths. Dionysius, the god of wine and theatre, was angered one day by an insult from a mere mortal and swore revenge on the next mortal that crossed his path, creating fierce tigers to carry out his wish. Along came unsuspecting Amethyst, a beautiful young maiden on her way to pay tribute to the goddess Diana. Diana turned Amethyst into a stature of pure crystalline quartz to protect her from the brutal claws. Dionysius wept tears of wine in remorse for his action at the sight of the beautiful statue. The god's tears stained the quartz purple, creating the gem we know today.

Purple color has long been considered a royal color, so it is not surprising that amethyst has been so popular through the history. Fine amethysts are featured in the British Crown Jewels and were also a favorite of Catherine the Great and Egyptian royalty.

Amethyst, transparent purple quartz, is the most important quartz variety used in jewelry. Amethyst was thought to encourage celibacy. Because of that, amethyst was very important in the ornamentation of churches in the Middle Ages. Bishops still often wear amethyst rings. In Tibet, amethyst is considered to be sacred to Buddha and rosaries are often fashioned from it.

The Greek work "amethystos" can be translated as "not drunken." Amethyst was thought to be a strong antidote against drunkenness, which is why wine goblets were often carved from it. The gemstone still symbolizes sobriety today.

Amethyst ranges in color from pale lilac to deep purple. The pale colors are sometimes called "Rose de France" and can be seen set in Victorian jewelry. The deep colors are the most valuable, particularly a rich purple with rose flashes. Very dark stones are sometimes heated to lighten and intensify color.

Amethyst is mined in Brazil, Uruguay, Bolivia and Argentina and some African countries. Generally, amethyst from South America tends to be available in larger sizes than African amethyst but amethyst from Africa has the reputation for having better, more saturated, color in small sizes. Very dark amethyst, mostly in small sizes, is also mined in Australia.

Amethyst is available in a wide range of calibrated sizes and shapes, including many fancy shapes. Large fine stones may be sold in free sizes but generally amethyst is cut in standardized dimensions. Amethyst is for the sign of Pisces.

Stone Lore

Amethyst, according to legend, originated when Bacchus, the god of wine, grew angry at mortals. He vowed the next mortal that crossed his path would be eaten by tigers. At that time, a beautiful young maiden named Amethyst was on her way to worship the goddess Diana. Diana, knowing of Bacchus' vow, turned Amethyst into a pillar of colorless quartz to protect her from the tigers. Bacchus, witnessing the miracle, repented and poured wine over Amethyst, staining her purple.

This connection with Bacchus led to the belief that drinking wine from an amethyst cup would prevent drunkenness. Also considered an aid to the brave, Amethyst was believed to protect soldiers in battle, control evil thoughts, help hunters capture wild beasts and make its owner shrewd in business matters. Amethyst has healing powers to help with physical ailments, emotional issues keeping the wearer clear-headed and clever. Amethyst crystal therapies are primarily associated with physical ailments of the nervous system, the curing of nightmares and insomnia.

 White Topaz*
 Lapis Lazuli*

* alternative birthstones