"THE February born shall find sincerity and peace of mind, freedom from passion and from care, if they, the amethyst will wear."For those born in February the amethyst is the traditional birthstone. The February birthstone poem reflects some of the properties with which amethyst is associated - stability, peace, balance, courage, inner strength, sincerity and a calm disposition. The healing properties of the stone are reputed to be effective for health problems relating to the withdrawal symptoms of any sort of addiction, headaches, insomnia, arthritis, pain relief, circulatory system issues and general healing.The amethyst is also referred to as the "sobriety stone" as it was once believed to prevent drunkenness and used to treat alcoholism and other types of addictions.The February birthstone is considered to be the birth stone of aquarius (the water bearer) and relate to those born between 21 January and 19 February.Traditional colours associated with the amethyst - pale lilac to violet to red-violet colour through to a deep rich purple colour. The meaning of colours through the ages represented many aspects of life. Social, religious, biblical and Christian symbolism were all reflected in the colour purple. The original symbolic meaning of the colour purple was for penitence and mourning. However, it became symbolic with wealth and power and strongly associated with royalty as the dyes used for purple materials were extremely expensive to produce.The word “amethyst” is derived from the Greek word amethystos, which means "remedy against drunkenness", which is reflected in the properties of this stone.The amethyst has a rich history of lore and legend. It can be traced back as far as 25 000 years ago in France, where it was used as a decorative stone by prehistoric humans. It has also been found among the remains of Neolithic man.It's said that the signet ring worn by Cleopatra was an amethyst, engraved with the figure of Mithras, a Persian deity symbolising the divine idea, source of light and life. It is also said to be the stone of Saint Valentine, who wore an amethyst engraved with the figure of his assistant, Cupid. Saint Valentine's Day is sobserved in February.The early Egyptians believed that the amethyst possessed good powers and placed the stones in the tombs of pharaohs. During the Middle Ages, it was used as medication, believed to dispel sleep, sharpen intellect, and protect the wearer from sorcery. It was also believed to bring victory in battle. In Arabian mythology, the amethyst was supposed to protect the wearer from bad dreams and gout.