For those wondering what is the birthstone for February, it is the beautiful amethyst, which is a member of the crystalline quartz family. Even before there was such a thing as the February birthstone, amethyst had been an immensely popular gemstone for a long time. There is quite a bit of vintage amethyst jewelry to be found from the 19th century, and more modern versions of February birthstone rings and other jewelry from the 20th century can be found in abundance in jewelry stores online and in brick and mortar stores.
Most good quality amethyst comes from Russia. Russian amethyst, or Siberian amethyst as it is sometimes called, has a gorgeous and very desirable reddish tint to it in artificial light. Good quality amethyst has also been found in Namibia and in Zambia. There are many lighter colored amethyst stones available also, however. Most amethyst that is widely used in fashion jewelry is of the lavender to violet hue. The most desirable shade for amethyst is a deep purple. Stones this color will be priced higher than lighter colored ones. Amethyst that is very dark can look almost black, and that is usually considered to be undesirable in an amethyst stone.
Genuine amethyst is also somewhat dichroic, meaning that it appears one color when viewed at a certain angle, and then when the stone is turned, it appears to be another color. With amethyst, the colors vary from blue to red-tinged hues.
How did the February birthstone come to be amethyst? For hundreds of years, different societies had their own ideas of what gemstones to associate with the months of the year, but in 1870, the jeweler Tiffanys of New York published an old Gregorian poem in which amethyst was associated with the month of February. A passage from the poem reads, “The February born shall find sincerity and peace of mind, freedom from passion and care, if they, the amethyst will wear. Many people began buying amethyst jewelry for themselves and loved ones who were born in February after reading the poem. Then in 1912, the Jewelers of America published a list of official birthstones by month, and amethyst was designated as the birthstone for February.
Much of the most popular February birthstone jewelry sold today is set in white gold or sterling silver, whether it be February birthstone rings, necklaces or bracelets. Even birthstone rings for moms are mostly sold in white gold settings more often than not. February birthstone amethyst rings are the most popular type of February birthstone jewelry sold, followed by birthstone necklaces. Many moms prefer to have a ring since they are worn on an everyday basis. Necklaces tend to be more delicate, and if worn every day, they may break. There is something to be said about a beautiful amethyst heart shaped pendant when it comes to birthstone jewelry for moms. Just about all moms love heart shaped jewelry from their children!
When you shop for February birthstone jewelry, always head for a reputable store that has a good return policy. There are many great stores online. For those looking for inexpensive amethyst birthstone jewelry, some of the “big box” stores sell a nice selection of budget-quality amethyst jewelry. If the piece you decide to buy is expensive, always ask to see a jeweler’s certificate for the stone in question, so you know you are getting genuine amethyst. Luckily for those born in February, most amethyst jewelry sold is in the less than $100 category. So what does this mean if you were born in February? Let the shopping begin!