February Birthstone Info: Carved Amethyst

February’s birthstone, amethyst, is purple quartz, 7 on the MOHS scale, which means it’s perfect for carving.

The word “amethyst” comes from a Greek phrase that means “not drunk.” The ancient Greeks named it that because they believed that amethyst prevented people from getting drunk no matter how much alcohol they consumed. They also believed amethyst prevented, or at the very least lessened the effects of, hangovers. So those canny ancient Greeks carved cups and bowls and goblets out of the stuff as drinking vessels for alcohol.

This is a carved amethyst bowl that I found in Amazon Crystals on etsy, and you can see more of it with details by clicking here.

Gorgeous carved amethyst bowl

The ancient Egyptians used it for jewelry, too, before the Romans.

Upper left: ancient Egyptian carved amethyst fish amulet. Lower left: ancient Egyptian carved amethyst beads. Right: ancient Roman carved amethyst intaglio.
This is a necklace made of stunning antique carved amethyst beads from Pansari Gems on etsy.

This is another particularly lovely vintage piece, carved amethyst beads in a 14 karat gold lavalier necklace, listed at Belmar Jewelers on etsy.

This is a necklace in our shop, multi strands of freshwater pearls with beautiful vintage carved amethyst beads from the 1960s – click here to see it up close and personal.

Kay’s pretty sure we’re going to find amethysts on our property eventually, because we certainly have plenty of quartz, and we have found the other minerals, like manganese and iron oxide, necessary to produce amethyst and smoky amethyst.  So we’ll keep digging, y’all.