– February Birthstone – Amethyst
Amethyst is a semiprecious stone that is often used in jewelry and is the traditional birthstone for February.
The crystal is a violet variety of quartz. The name comes from the Koine Greek αμέθυστος amethystos from α- a-, “not” and μεθύσκω (Ancient Greek) methysko / μεθώ metho (Modern Greek), “intoxicate”, a reference to the belief that the stone protected its owner from drunkenness. The ancient Greeks wore amethyst and carved drinking vessels from it in the belief that it would prevent intoxication.
Amethyst is produced in abundance from the state of Rio Grande do Sul in Brazil where it occurs in large geodes within volcanic rocks. Many of the hollow agates of southwestern Brazil and Uruguay contain a crop of amethyst crystals in the interior. Artigas, Uruguay and the neighboring Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul are large world producers. These exceed in quantity from Minas Gerais, as well as Mato Grosso, Espirito Santo, Bahia, and Ceará states. They are all amethyst producers of importance in Brazil.
Geodes are also found and mined in South Korea. The largest opencast amethyst vein in the world is in Maissau, Lower Austria. Much fine amethyst comes from Russia, especially from near Mursinka in the Ekaterinburg district, where it occurs in drusy cavities in granitic rocks. Many localities in south India yield amethyst. One of the largest global amethyst producers is Zambia in southern Africa with an annual production of about 1000 tons.
United States Mines
Amethyst occurs at many localities in the United States. Among these may be mentioned: the Mazatzal Mountain region in Gila and Maricopa Counties, Arizona; Red Feather Lakes, near Fort Collins, Colorado; Amethyst Mountain, Texas; Yellowstone National Park; Delaware County, Pennsylvania; Haywood County, North Carolina; Deer Hill and Stow, Maine and in the Lake Superior region of Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan. Amethyst is relatively common in the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Nova Scotia. The largest amethyst mine in North America is located in Thunder Bay, Ontario.
Amethyst is the official state gemstone of South Carolina. Several South Carolina amethysts are on display at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History.
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February Birthstone Gift Ideas
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*Credit to Wikipedia.org for reference material in this post