The concept of birthstones is (surprisingly!) centuries old. As far back as the first century, Abrahamic historians such as Josephus were drawing connections between the twelve gemstones on the breastplate of Aaron in the Book of Exodus, the twelve months of the year, and the twelve Western zodiac signs.

Eastern traditions including Hinduism, Ayurveda, and local Tibetan culture also have longstanding cultural beliefs surrounding birthstones, believing they could reflect certain astrological forces or possess medicinal properties.

Today, Ask & Embla is focusing our lens on the amethyst – the official birthstone of February and the zodiac sign Pisces, as well as the gem associated with 6th and 17th wedding anniversaries! Discover more about its rich history below, or scroll down for our curated collection of amethyst alternative jewelry to add to your collection.

The Intoxicating History of the Amethyst

This stunning semiprecious stone is actually from the quartz family, and owes its purple colour to minerals such as iron and other transition metals present within it. Amethysts are naturally-occurring across the world ranging from Brazil to South Korea to Nova Scotia, and come in a variety of hues from a pale and dreamy lavender to a rich and stunning deep purple.

With a name originating from the Biblical Greek amethystos interpreted as “not drunken”, the amethyst has long been believed to prevent intoxication and drunkenness. The Ancient Greeks even carved amethyst into drinking vessels in the belief it could hold off hangovers! Medieval European soldiers would even wear amethyst amulets to keep themselves cool-headed during battle, and some Anglican bishops today wear amethyst episcopal rings as a reminder of their commitment to sobriety and a chaste life.

The Amethyst’s Energy-Balancing Benefits

That belief has trickled down to today, with some believing the amethyst can help promote inner balance and peace, and relieve circulatory or pain issues in the body. Some even believe the amethyst enables heightened clarity and intuition, with the power to enhance ‘the Sight’.

Of course, this is just one interpretation of what this enchanting gemstone represents. In Ancient China the stone was used to protect against daily harms and misfortunes, and in modern Chinese Feng Shui, the amethyst is believed to increase wealth.

Channel Inner Peace and Reflection with Alternative Amethyst Jewelry

If you’re hoping to gain some of the spiritual healing benefits of the amethyst, Ask & Embla’s range of alternative jewelry is a great way to incorporate it into your everyday style.

Show off its hues with the bold Amethyst Saddle Plugs and Amethyst Teardrop Plugs, or go for a more subtle nod with the Pixi Threadless End (14K Gold) and its amethyst Cubic Zirconia centre stone. For an added touch of charm, pair this purple beauty with silver or gold in the sinuous curves of the Azlar Crystal Serpent Hangers, the diamond-sharp vivacity of the Crystal Bullet Earrings, or the beastly call of our Quill Crystal Claw Earrings.

Products featured:

Stretched Ear Jewelry


Other Alternative Body Jewelry

Whether you’re a February or Pisces baby looking to honour your birthstone or simply seeking out its healing properties, the amethyst is the perfect finishing touch to give you the confidence to face what lies ahead.

Browse our Pinterest to discover more everyday style inspiration, or check out our themed jewelry collections to find your next favourite alternative jewelry arrangement. Enjoy free shipping* with a minimum spend and loyalty rewards for long-time customers.

* Minimum order amount for free shipping varies across countries.