Scientific Name: variety of Quartz- Silicon Oxide
Chemical Formula: SiO2
Amethyst is a purple gemstone treasured by millions. Purple is the color of Royalty. Amethysts were worn by the Egyptian Pharos. The British Crown Jewels are regaled with Amethyst. Amethysts were a favorite of Catherine the Great. Amethyst is the traditional birthstone of the month of February.
The Greek word “amethystos” translates to “not drunken.” Amethyst was considered a strong antidote against drunkenness. Goblets were carved from amethyst for this reason.
Greek mythology says that Dionysus, the god of intoxication, was angered one day by an insult from a mortal. He created long-clawed tigers to tear apart the next mortal they encountered as revenge. A beautiful girl named Amethyst was on her way to pay tribute to the goddess Diana. She crossed the path of the angry tigers. Diana turned Amethyst into a statue of pure crystalline quartz to protect her. Upon seeing the beautiful statue, Dionysus wept tears of wine in remorse for his action. The god’s tears stained the quartz purple, creating the pure beautiful purple gem we know today. In Tibet, amethyst is considered to be sacred to Buddha. In Catholicism rosaries are often made from amethyst. In the Middle Ages amethyst was looked upon as the protector of celibacy. Amethyst was considered a symbol of piety., Amethyst was prominent in the ornamentation of Catholic and Protestant churches of the 15th and 16th centuries. To this day, many Christian Bishops wear amethyst rings. Leonardo Da Vinci wrote that amethyst dispelled evil thoughts and quickened the mind.
In folklore, Amethyst is said to bring an understanding of death and rebirth and to relieve stress. It is a teacher of all things spiritual, mystic and psychic. The stone is considered healing for the body, mind and soul. Amethyst is the jewel which cleanses, purifies, restructures, and renews. Wearing an Amethyst when sleeping is said to reduce anger, impatience, and nightmares. Amethyst has been placed in the water of pets to reduce fleas ! Amethyst ranges in color from pale lilac to deep purple. It is mined in Brazil, Uruguay, Bolivia and Argentina, Zambia, Namibia and other African countries. Africa has a reputation for having better, more saturated color in amethysts of small size. Very dark small amethysts, are also mined in Australia.
When purchasing an Amethyst, personal preference is most important. Color will increase or decrease the market value of this stone. Deeper purple Amethysts are considered the most valuable.