Amethyst is the birthstone for February, it is a purple colored quartz. In fact, in order to qualify as amethyst, it must have a purple/violet hue. Amethysts are often graded on the basis of where they were sourced as their attributes are usually distinct depending on location. The value of an amethyst rarely depends on the size but rather on color, the most desirable color is known as "Deep Siberian". Although recently paler tones known as "Rose De France" have become popular, thanks to some clever marketing.
The color purple has long been associated with royalty and thus so have amethysts. Amethysts have been found in Pharaohs tombs, the British crown jewels, and Catherine the Great famously had an adoration for them. Amethyst has also been featured in many different religions, to this day amethyst is the preferred stone used in Buddhist beads and Catholic Bishops wear it, as they believe it gives them spiritual wisdom.
It's no secret that amethyst crystals have strong healing properties and they are used in both Chinese medicine and alternative medicines. Amethysts are thought to bring positive energy and calmness to the wearer. The stone is also meant to bring the wearer wisdom and protection. Leonardo De Vinci was fond of amethyst and believed it sharpened his mind and kept evil thoughts at bay. In ancient Greece there was a popular belief that amethysts prevented drunkenness so many drinking vessels and goblets were made or decorated with amethysts.
Amethysts were once considered a precious gemstone along with the "big four" however this changed when vast deposits were discovered, creating an abundance in supply and it is now considered a semi precious gemstone. This beautiful gemstone is amongst the most popular in the world and has long been associated with love and romance, being mentioned in the Greek romantic tragedy of Dionysus and his love Amethyst. Saint Valentine himself wore an amethyst ring supposedly with cupid engraved upon it. It is no coincidence therefore that Amethyst is the birthstone for the month in which Valentines day falls. All of our February birthstone Claddagh rings are set with lab created heart shaped amethysts with the exception of our exclusive Kylemore Claddagh Ring, which contains a heart shaped natural amethyst weighing at least half a carat