What is the birthstone for February? In fact the question is better put, what are the birthstones for February? There are in total five birthstones of February, the second month of the year. What are the different February birthstones? Here we explore the 5 types of February birthstone.
- Modern: Amethyst
- Traditional: Amethyst, Hyacinth & Pearl
- Ancient: Amethyst
- Tibetan: Bloodstone
- Indian: Moonstone
The February-born shall find
Sincerity and peace of mind,
Freedom from passion and from care,
If they an amethyst will wear.
— Gregorian birthstone poem
Amethyst is the modern, as well as traditional, birthstone for February. Amethyst was likewise consistently designated as the February birthstone in the old Roman, Italian, Polish, Russian, Hebrew, Arabic and the old Indian (Ayurvedic) calendar. Before the gemstone became the birthstone of February in these ancient calendars, amethyst was the main zodiac stone for Pisces and Aquarius, both zodiac signs falling partly on the month of February. Indeed, amethyst is consistently and most widely accepted as the gemstone for February.
This February birthstone is the violet, or purple, variety of quartz. Amethyst used to be highly expensive; but since the discovery in the 19th century of its huge deposit in Brazil, the main stone for February ceased being a precious stone. Amethyst also fades in color with exposure to sunlight, making this February gemstone less durable compared to other gemstones. The February stone is believed to make its wearer gentle, friendly and agreeable, reminiscent of the zodiac sign Pisces. See also Amethyst: Stone of Awareness.
Hyacinth was also a traditional birthstone for February from as early as the 15th century. This February birthstone is the red variety of zircon, though the gemstone may have shades of yellow. Hyacinth is also the birthstone for January in the ancient Italian and Russian calendar. A confusion between which month hyacinth should be assigned as birthstone is possible, with January having a stronger claim for red zircon, red being the main birthstone color of January. Zircon is believed to enhance prosperity, as well as bring peace of mind.
Pearl was a traditional birthstone for February from as early as the 15th century. This February birthstone is among the few gemstones that are not produced by geological activity, but of biological processes. Pearl occurs when a mollusk coats a foreign irritant with mother-of-pearl, giving birth to the round February stone. Pearl is regarded as symbol of purity and genuine love; hence, this February gemstone is widely used as jewelry for engagement and weddings.
Known as chandrakanta in India, moonstone is the birthstone for February in the Hindu calendar. This February birthstone is feldspar mineral consisting of alternate layers of orthoclase and albite, which lets the gemstone refract light within itself, giving the February gemstone the appearance of glowing from within. This birthstone of February is believed to stimulate clairvoyance, and relieve anxiety at the same time. See also Moonstone: Stone of Security.
Bloodstone is the birthstone for February in the old Tibetan calendar. This February birthstone is a green variety of opaque chalcedony speckled with red spots, which is usually red jasper. The February stone is believed to enhance courage, as well as increase physical strength, leading to this February gemstone being worn by athletes and warriors in antiquity. See also Bloodstone: Stone of Freedom.
February Birthstone Color
What color is February birthstone? Amethyst is the most widely accepted birthstone for February, being the traditional and modern February stone, as well as the birthstone of February in most ancient calendars. On this account, there is no doubt that birthstone color for February is violet. What shade of violet, though? The color of amethyst ranges in hue from lavender, to violet, to blue violet, to purple. February birthstone color should encompass these different shades of violet, and include colors that represent any noticeable mixture between blue and red.
If secondary colors have to be identified, it would likely include white, the color of the traditional February birthstone pearl, as well as the stone for February in the Hindu calendar, moonstone. February stone color may also be red, the color of another traditional birthstone for February, hyacinth. Bloodstone, the gemstone for February in the Tibetan calendar, is green in color; hence, February gemstone color may subsidiarily be recognized to be green.
Featured image credit: Cut amethyst by Didier Descouens via Wikimedia Commons
In an in-depth research on birthstones, I discovered that one of the February stones was never actually prescribed for jewelry, but for a phallic symbol.
You can read about it, as well as the magical powers of all birthstones, in my book Power Birthstone.