What Are The 2 Birthstones For February?

By | February 3, 2024

You might have known that February is unique due to its shorter number of days. But have you ever wondered about what also makes it different, in terms of gemstones? Today, you’re in for a treat as you discover the two birthstones linked to this month – Amethyst and Onyx. These aren’t just regular gemstones but they hold significance and an intriguing history that’s intricately woven into the fibers of various cultures. After reading this, your view on February, its mysteries, and its gemstones might never be the same again.

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Understanding Birthstones

Before we get to the specifics of the birthstones for February, it’s important to know the basics about these beautiful gemstones.

Definition of birthstones

Birthstones are precious or semi-precious gemstones related to each calendar month. Each stone symbolizes a set of qualities or characteristics that are believed to be acquired by people born in that month. The concept originates from the gems set in the Breastplate of Aaron described in the Bible.

Historical context of birthstones

The concept of birthstones traces back to the book of Exodus in the Bible, in which a breastplate worn by the high priest Aaron is described as being adorned with twelve gems, each representing one of the twelve tribes of Israel. It was also thought in ancient times that these gems were associated with the twelve months of the year, and that by wearing a different stone each month, a person could tap into the protective and healing power associated with that gem.

Cultural significance

Birthstones carry deep cultural significance across various cultures. They have long been thought to bring good luck, health, and prosperity to those who wear them. Even today, birthstones are considered a thoughtful and personal gift, often used in jewelry, and carry both emotional and aesthetic appeal.

Birthstones by Month

Birthstones are often worn as jewelry and given as gifts. Here’s a general overview of each monthly birthstone and their significance.

Overview of monthly birthstones

Each month has its unique birthstone, with a few months having more than one. From January’s Garnet to December’s Turquoise and Zircon, each birthstone has a unique meaning and historical significance.

Significance of birthstones for each month

The significance of birthstones is often tied to ancient beliefs. For example, garnet, the January birthstone, was once considered a great gift to symbolize friendship and trust. Similarly, aquamarine for March is said to enhance the happiness of marriages, while October’s opal is said to repel evil and bring hope.

What Are The 2 Birthstones For February?

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Birthstones for February: Introduction

February, the second month of the year, is associated with two significant gemstones: Amethyst and Onyx.

Significance of birthstones for February

Amethyst, the primary birthstone, symbolizes peace, courage, and stability—which are qualities often associated with those born in February. Onyx, the secondary birthstone, signifies strength, courage, and inner strength.

Historical relevance and cultural context

Amethyst has a rich history dating back to the ancient Greeks, who believed that wearing amethyst could prevent drunkenness. Across cultures, it has been highly regarded for its stunning beauty and legendary powers to stimulate, and soothe, the emotions and mind. Onyx was also widely used in ancient rituals and was revered as a powerful protection stone in many cultures.

Amethyst: The Primary Birthstone for February

Amethyst is not just beautiful. Its significance and rich history make it even more intriguing for those born in February.

Background of Amethyst

Amethyst has been highly esteemed throughout the ages for its stunning beauty and legendary powers to calm the mind and emotions. It is a semi-precious stone in today’s classifications, but to the ancients, it was a “gem of fire,” a precious stone worth as much as a diamond.

Significance and meaning of Amethyst

Amethyst carries a calming and serene energy that can help you relax. It’s also said to transform negative energy into positive energy. It’s a gemstone often used in meditation, and for creativity, wisdom, and self-reflection.

Physical and chemical properties

Amethyst is a type of quartz that carries a spectacular purple color that ranges from a blend of deep violet and red to a lighter lilac hue. The deeper and richer the purple, the more valuable the amethyst tends to be.

Amethyst in jewelry making

Being very versatile, amethyst can be cut into many shapes and sizes. It’s also used in both gold and silver pieces, allowing jewelry designers to create beautiful pieces that are affordable for all budgets.

Caring for Amethyst jewelry

Amethyst is a relatively hard gemstone, but it can still be scratched or damaged by harsh chemicals. You should clean your amethyst jewelry with warm, soapy water and a soft brush or cloth.

What Are The 2 Birthstones For February?

Common Myths and Legends Associated with Amethyst

The allure of Amethyst extends beyond its physical beauty. It has been surrounded by myths and legends throughout history.

Greek legends about Amethyst

The name Amethyst translates in Greek to ‘not drunken’. An ancient Greek myth explains this seemingly odd name. According to the myth, the god Dionysus was angry and swore to take revenge on the next mortal who crossed his path. A beautiful maiden named Amethyst happened to be that mortal. The goddess Diana turned Amethyst into a statue of quartz to save her. When Dionysus saw the beautiful statue, he wept tears of wine, staining the quartz purple.

Christianity and the Amethyst

In Christianity, the Amethyst symbolizes piety, humility, sincerity, and spiritual wisdom. It is also deemed to be the stone of bishops and is still worn on their rings.

Amethyst in Eastern cultures

In ancient Eastern cultures, Amethyst was regarded as a powerful protection stone. It was also widely believed to bring about good fortune and abundance.

Onyx: The Secondary Birthstone for February

Onyx, though less popular than Amethyst, holds its unique charm and significance.

Background of Onyx

Onyx is an ancient gemstone, having been used in jewelry and as an ornamental gem for carvings since antiquity. Onyx has traditionally been one of the most important engraving and cameo gemstones.

Significance and meaning of Onyx

Onyx is linked to strength, stamina, and self-control. It’s known to hold powerful vibrations of protection, endurance, and grounding.

Physical and chemical properties

Onyx is a chalcedony, or a type of quartz, featuring straight parallel bands of color—black, white, or brown. The most popular variety of onyx is the pure black version.

Onyx in jewelry making

Onyx is often cut into round cabochons or oval shapes and is popular in minimalist, monochromatic jewelry designs.

Caring for Onyx jewelry

Onyx can be easily cleaned with a soft cloth and soapy water. However, prolonged exposure to water may damage the stone. Liquids and chemicals should be avoided to prevent stains and discoloration.

What Are The 2 Birthstones For February?

Common Myths and Legends Associated with Onyx

Onyx, like Amethyst, carries its share of legends and myths.

Greek mythology and Onyx

The name Onyx is derived from the Greek word for ‘fingernail’. According to Greek mythology, Cupid cut the divine fingernails of Venus with an arrowhead while she was sleeping. The clippings fell into the Indus River and were transformed into Onyx.

Early Christian symbolism of Onyx

In Christian tradition, Onyx is mentioned in Genesis. The book describes it as the middle gemstone in the fourth row of the High Priest Aaron’s breastplate, symbolizing the tribe of Joseph.

Mysteries of Onyx in the East

In Eastern cultures, black onyx is viewed as a protective stone that absorbs and transforms negative energy, helps prevent the drain of personal energy and promotes emotional well-being.

Comparing Amethyst and Onyx

While both gems are beautiful and hold significant meanings, they vary in physical attributes and cultural representations.

Physical properties comparison

Amethyst is a purple quartz with a rich color spectrum that showcases intense purples and paler lilacs. Onyx, on the other hand, is primarily black and is praised for its glossy reflective polish.

Symbolic and cultural representation comparison

Amethyst symbolizes calm, balance, and peace and is associated with spiritual growth and protection. Onyx, however, is linked to inner strength, endurance, and focus, serving as a potent protection stone.

What Are The 2 Birthstones For February?

Choosing Between Amethyst and Onyx Jewelry

When it comes to selecting the right birthstone jewelry, there are several factors to consider.

Factors to consider

These may include personal preference for a particular color or gem, the meaning of the stone, the style and design of the jewelry, and the skin tone and personal style of the wearer.

Matching jewelry with skin tone and personal style

Amethysts radiate beautiful violet tones that are especially striking against fair and light skin tones. Black onyx, however, gives off a sleek and refined vibe that matches almost every wardrobe and suits all skin tones.

Caring for February Birthstones Jewelry

To keep your birthstone jewelry looking its best, it’s important to know how to properly care for it.

Cleaning and storage tips for Amethyst

Avoid exposing your amethyst to harsh chemicals or sunlight, which can cause the gemstone to fade or change color. When it comes to storing your amethyst, wrap it in a soft cloth and place it away from other gems to avoid scratching.

Precautions while wearing Onyx jewelry

Like amethyst, onyx should also be kept away from harsh chemicals. Onyx is not as hard as amethyst, so additional care should be taken not to scratch it.

Maintenance and longevity of February birthstones

With proper care and maintenance, your February birthstone will maintain its brilliant shine and luster for a lifetime. Always remember to clean your jewels gently using mild soapy water, rinse them thoroughly, and dry them before storing them.

In the end, whether you choose an Amethyst for peace and tranquility, or an Onyx shielding you with strength and stability, you are choosing a birthstone that carries centuries of significance and history. Treasure these gems and let them add a touch of magic and meaning to your every day.

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Author: marklsmithms1

Hi, I'm Mark, the author of Maura Gems and Jewellery. As a team of qualified gemmologists and goldsmiths, we bring you world-class jewellery at Bangkok prices. With offices in both Bangkok and the UK, we ethically source the finest gemstones directly, eliminating any middlemen. We offer a wide range of stunning ready-made jewellery items in our new online store, available for retail or wholesale. Additionally, we specialize in custom-made jewellery where we can bring any design to life. Whether you're a trade professional or an individual customer, we cater to all. Feel free to email me at mark@mauragemsandjewellery.com or call/WhatsApp me at 07470547636 or +66949355718. Discover our incredible collection by visiting our online store. I guarantee you'll love what you find there!

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