The birthstone for February is amethyst. Amethysts are usually somewhere on the violet scale of colors, ranging from pinkish tones to a dark blue-purple. The stone is sometimes called purple quartz.
Historically, the best amethysts were found in Russia and were commonly featured in early European jewelry worn by royalty. Thought by the Greeks and Romans to ward off intoxication, amethyst was believed to help keep the wearer's mind clear and wits quick. Amethyst has been a part of many cultures, myths, religions and folklore. Today, amethysts are primarily sourced in Brazil, though fine examples can be found elsewhere, particularly in Zambia.