Fittingly, February's birthstone was worn by Saint Valentine in a ring that also featured an image of cupid! This purple variety of quartz is mildly pleochroic, or color-changing (appearing more bluish) under different light. Originally believed to prevent intoxication, amethyst has become the most popular quartz for its distinctive hues, ranging from reddish to cool blue-purple.
A sturdy stone at 7 on the Mohs scale (compare to diamond at 10), it should be protected from scratching and rough surfaces but is fairly resistant to normal wear. As with other gemstones, mild soap and water with a soft cloth or toothbrush should be used for cleaning.