February Birthstone – Amethyst
Amethyst is associated with spirituality, piety, wisdom, sobriety, and security. It has been used to ornament churches and crosses, and worn in rings and on rosaries by bishops and priests.
Amethyst is often given as a symbol of protection and the power to overcome difficulty. It is also given as a representation of a strong bond in a love relationship.
- Inner Strength
Having a distinct gemstone assigned to each month of the year can be traced back to the Breastplate worn by Aaron, which is described in the book of Exodus.
“And thou shalt set in it settings of stones, even four rows of stones: the first row shall be a sardius, a topaz, and a carbuncle: this shall be the first row. And the second row shall be an emerald, a sapphire, and a diamond. And the third row a ligure, an agate, and an amethyst. And the fourth row a beryl, and an onyx, and a jasper: they shall be set in gold in their inclosings. And the stones shall be with the names of the children of Israel, twelve, according to their names, like the engravings of a signet; every one with his name shall they be according to the twelve tribes.” Exodus 28:17-21 KJV
The first century Jewish historian Josephus proclaimed a connection between the twelve stones in Aaron’s breastplate and the twelve months of the year.
The idea of wearing a gemstone corresponding to the month of a person’s birth is a modern one that scholars trace to 18th century Poland, with the arrival of Jewish gem traders in the region. The modern list of birthstones has been unchanged since its initial definition in 1912 by the National Association of Jewelers in the USA.
Amethyst is the purple variety of the mineral quartz, which occurs naturally as crystals within rocks. Deposits of this popular gemstone are found in Brazil, Canada, Australia, India, Madagascar, Namibia, Russia, Sri Lanka and the United States. An amethyst is always purple, but it occurs in a wide range of purple shades.
The Gregorian calendar has poems (of unknown author) matching each month with its birthstone:
The February born shall find
Sincerity and peace of mind,
Freedom from passion and from care,
If they, the amethyst will wear.
To learn more about gemstones, visit the website for the Gemological Institute of America, http://www.gia.edu/
Celebrate Your Faith has many popular items in Amethyst. With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, there are many great gift ideas in Amethyst available.
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