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The Amethyst

February's Birthstone

Feb 3

Other Scottish Country Dances for this Day

Today's Musings, History & Folklore

"A deep stone with many streets, its light holds itself in with blue, then pours carefully, sunlight over the window sill."

~ Leslie Ullman, Amethyst, 1989

Happy February Birthdays, Dancers! The beautiful purple amethyst is associated with both February as the month's birthstone partly through its associations with St. Valentine and Valentine's Day! It is said that St. Valentine wore a purple amethyst ring with an engraved cupid so that Roman soldiers could recognise him, and ask for his marriage services. The Roman Emperor Claudius II had outlawed marriage between young couples, for he thought that unwed young men made better soldiers as they had no ties to a wife and children! Valentine defied the government’s ban and married couples in secret! The amethyst is thought to have many magical qualities, including the power of healing, mental clarity, and most famously, for its ability to prevent intoxication! The ancient Greeks and Romans believed that wearing amethyst, or even drinking from vessels made of amethyst, would prevent drunkenness. The word "amethyst" itself comes from the Greek "amethystos," meaning "not intoxicated." So if you have a birthday to celebrate, Happy Birthday and Sláinte! 🥃 🎂 💜

The Amethyst

Amethyst is a violet variety of quartz often used in jewelry. Once worn only by royalty, Amethyst is the traditional birthstone for February.

St. Valentine is said to have worn a purple amethyst ring which was usually worn by Christian bishops (as it thought to help enable restraint) with an image of cupid engraved on it. Roman soldiers would see the ring and ask him to marry them. It may have been this association which led to the stone being chosen as the birthstone for the month of February and invested amethyst with special powers to attract love.

In his poem "L'Amethyste, ou les Amours de Bacchus et d'Amethyste" (Amethyst or the loves of Bacchus and Amethyste), the French poet Remy Belleau (1528–1577) invented a myth about the creation of amethyst.  In the story, Bacchus, the god of intoxication, of wine, and grapes was pursuing a maiden named Amethyste, who refused his affections.


Amethyste prayed to the gods to remain chaste, a prayer which the goddess Diana answered, transforming her into a white stone. Humbled by Amethyste's steadfast desire to remain chaste, Bacchus poured wine over the stone as an offering, dyeing the crystals purple.

For more about St. Valentine and his amethyst ring, click the painting below.

The Amethyst

Click the dance cribs or description below to link to a printable version of the dance!

The Amethyst

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WELCOME TO An Entertainment Site for Scottish Country Dancers - Enjoy the curated selection of theme-related dances for celebrations and holidays, or find a dance associated with a special calendar day, or EVEN your own birthday!  

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