February’s Birthstones: Amethyst & Black Onyx
The Icon—Black Onyx
February’s Birthstones are some of the longest known, and most recognizable members of the ornamental gem world! Whether you prefer the sparkling purple crystals of amethyst, or the gleaming ink black beauty of black onyx, February babies are blessed with beautiful birthstones!
Amethyst, the purple quartz variety, owes its rich purple color from metallic impurities such as iron and titanium. Though it sometimes forms in single crystals, it is best known for growing in vugs and geodes filled with deep grape clusters, most often found in Uruguay and Brazil. Unique types of amethyst are available in localities around the world. Amethyst has been used for its believed healing properties since the earliest human cultures learned to carve stone into amulets and talismans. Its purple shade was once believed to be a result of the god Dionysius’ wine spilling, staining the crystals deepest grape. For this reason it was once thought to prevent drunkenness, and was worn in amulets by ancient cultures. Throughout the years, it’ has been connected with such diverse energies as spiritual guidance, dreams, protection, healing from additive patterns, and more. What will you discover for yourself about this classic, well-loved purple mineral?
Black onyx has a lustrous, monochromatic presence that is instantly iconic. You may find it carved into ink black jewelry or midnight stone statues, but it may interest you to know that it’s actually relatively rare to find natural black onyx. This banded chalcedony variety may occur in multiple colored bands including black, but in modern day jewelry making it is not uncomment to find it has been color enhanced to reflect the deepest black tones. The exception would be Peruvian black onyx, which tends to occur in a natural smoke black shade, and is often used to create animal carvings and lapidary shapes. Whether dressed in natural shades or enhancements in deepest midnight, black onyx remains a powerful mineral that proponents associate with focus, inner strength, and focus. You’ll have to investigate for yourself, but you can find black onyx jewelry and carvings, as well as a HUGE selection of amethyst jewelry and specimens, at El Loro!