Monthly Archives: January 2016

Amethyst is February’s Birthstone

Amethyst is the name given to Purple Quartz.  Its color shades range from violet to purple, the result of an interaction between iron and aluminum.  Legend says that the name is derived from the Greek word amethustos, meaning not intoxicated.  It is tied to Dionysus the God of wine, likely because of the color of wine and amethyst.  Legend has it that amethyst was created by Dionysus as the result of an unpleasant encounter with a young maiden named Amethystos.  In the Old Testament, it was mentioned as one of the twelve stones representing the twelve tribes of Israel.  Amethyst is linked to the Zodiac signs, Aries, Aquarius, and Sagittarius.

Amethyst is considered to represent peace of mind, modesty, and piety.  It is thought to change negative energy to positive, to neutralize anger.  It purifies the body, mind, and soul.  Amethyst is believed to have healing properties, to protect drunkards and soldiers, to improve business acumen, and make hunters successful.

Amethyst has been a favorite throughout history.  It has been found in Neolithic gravesites, 4000 BC., and found set in gold rings,  2400 BC during Minoan Greek civilization.  It has been favorite of Cardinals, Bishops, and Priests of the Roman Catholic Church, and of royalty.  It is a papal stone.  The popularity of the color purple goes back to Roman Times.  Roman generals wore a bright purple toga with gold embroidery while celebrating a victory.  Brazilian Amethyst arrived in Europe in 1727 becoming very popular in 18th Century France and England.

Green Quartz is known as Green Amethyst or Prasiolite.  Most green quartz comes from Brazil, available since mid-1950, it is heat treated and irradiated to produce an electrifying, transparent olive-colored green gemstone.  Rose de France Amethyst has a more pinkish tone.

Amethyst is mined in The United States, Brazil, Madagascar, Kenya, and Austria


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The Rhodolite Garnet is a blend of Pyrope and Almandine.  It is a rare stone, and comes in shades of pink, red, and sometimes lavender.  It tends to have a lighter hue than most other Garnets. 


Garnet is the Birthstone for January

Garnet , the January Birthstone, has been considered the ultimate gift of eternal love.   It is linked to the Zodiac signs Aquarius and Leo, and recommended gifts for the 2nd and 4th wedding anniversaries.  The Garnet’s color is completely natural.  It cannot be enhanced.

The Garnet’s popularity is ancient, known to be of value since the Bronze Age.  It has not only been associated with love and sexual energy, it represents commitment and fidelity.   The Garnet was believed to release passion, otherwise restrained, resulting in a stronger attraction.  The Ancients thought promoted balance, leading to a stable, faithful marriage.  Garnet comes in a variety of colors, including red, orange, green, purple, brown, black, pink, and colorless.   Although a common stone, the green Uvarovitic Garnet from the Urals is near priceless as it forms in reasonably large crystals.

The word garnet is derived from the Latin word granatus or “seed like,” a reference to the Pomegranate.    A major source of Garnet in ancient times was Bohemia, now a part of Czechoslovakia.  In that region, a common presentation was to closely set a number of small Garnet stones together to resemble a Pomegranate.  That arrangement is still popular today.  

The Garnet is an isomorphic stone with thirty different varieties classified into six species; almandine, andradrite, grossular, pyrope, spessarite, and uvarovite.

Stay tuned for more fun facts about Garnet and Featured Items showcasing our inventory of Garnet Jewelry.