February’s birthstone is the Amethyst, which is a purple variety of the mineral quartz. (although to be amethyst it must be purple , however it can come in many different shades)
It’s believed that the word amethyst comes from the greek word ‘amethystos’ meaning sober. Amethystos is the god of wine and it was common practice to serve wine in amethyst goblets in belief it would prevent over indulgence.
For those who are giving the gift of amethyst it is symbolic of protection and the power to overcome difficulty. It’s said to strengthen the bond in a love relationship. For years it was a popular choice for anniversary gifts.
The colour of purple that you see in amethyst is traditionally the colour of royalty and amethysts have been used since the beginning of history to adorn the rich and powerful monarchs/rulers. Purple was reserved for the powerful, with only blue and gold paint valued more highly, (these were the traditional dominant colours of the madonna’s robe, and the golden holy halos. the bystanding kings wore purple, as do monarchs and senior religious figures today.) It wasn’t until 1856 that purple dye was synthesised, and could be cheaply produced. William Henry Perkins was trying to synthesise quinine, (a medicine for malaria) and accidentally produced the first chemical pigment. It happened to be purple…
Purple will continue to be a strong colour presence in home decor throughout 2012 and the word amethyst will be a word used to describe this purple trend. There are so many different hues of this colour that you can choose between ‘rich & regal’ and ‘pale & delicate’.
This year you’ll find some great inspiration from rooms such as the above…. you’ll have great colour choices such as PARA’ Vixen (P5094-63), Dark Orchid (P5096-73) or Moulin Rouge (P5097-73) or if you’re looking for perhaps the softer side of what amethyst has to offer then you can try PARA’ Shopoholic (P5100-41D) or Spring Lilac (P5099-34D). You’ll also see some fabulous accessories and furniture in this great amethyst tone.
So although February is all about the amethyst… looks like you’ll have plenty of amethyst throughout 2012. Personally I’m also looking forward to the softer shades that will be making their way into our wardrobes this spring/summer.