February's Birthstone: Amethyst
Until rich deposits were discovered in Brazil in the 19th Century, Amethysts were as expensive as Rubies and Emeralds. Due to a range of rich colors, the Amethyst is in high demand from designers and consumers alike. Heat treating Amethyst between 878 and 1382 degrees F can create color variance, including green, light yellow, red-brown, or completly colorless varieties.
It was also believed to prevent drunkenness, Amethyst coming from the Ancient Greek "amethystos" meaning "not drunk."
Worn by St. Valentine, the patron saint of romantic love, it is fitting that Amethyst is the traditional birthstone for February. On the Mohs Scale it rates at a 7 and it has a good toughness, making it acceptable for every day wear, as long as proper care is taken to avoid the stone becoming scratched. Amethyst remains the most highly valued stone in the quartz family.