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February’s birthstone is the amethyst. Amethysts contain the second most abundant mineral found in Earth’s crust – quartz. Quartz is often found lining the insides of geodes. So it’s no wonder that geodes sometimes contain amethysts, too.
The early Egyptians believed that the amethyst possessed good powers, and placed the stones in the tombs of pharaohs. During the Middle Ages, it was used as medication, believed to dispel sleep, sharpen intellect, and protect the wearer from sorcery. It was also believed to bring victory in battle. In Arabian mythology, the amethyst was supposed to protect the wearer from bad dreams and gout.
It’s said that the signet ring worn by Cleopatra was an amethyst, engraved with the figure of Mithras, a Persian deity symbolizing the Divine Idea, Source of Light and Life. It is also said to be the stone of Saint Valentine, who wore an amethyst engraved with the figure of his assistant, Cupid. Saint Valentine’s Day is still observed in February.