Amethyst, considered to be the gemstone of all gemstones, is an extravagant stone with a hue that ranges from a light, pinkish violet to a rich, deep plum. Although it may be found in a variety of other colors such as red or blue, amethysts are predominantly purple. The most sought after hue is called “Deep Siberian”, which has a primary purple hue of 75-80% and secondary red and blue hues of 15-20%.
Amethyst has been known to fade in tone when over-exposed to different light sources such as the sun or the intense UV bulbs found in tanning beds. This fading factor makes it a good thing that amethyst is the February birthstone, because you wouldn’t want to wear it out to the beach in the blazing hot summer sun and risk discoloring it.
The word amethyst is derived from the Greek “amethystos” which means “not intoxicated” from the Greek a-, “not” + methustos, “intoxicated”. The Greeks of old adorned themselves with a variety of amethyst jewelry and fashioned cups out of amethyst to ward off the effects of drunkenness. Various cultures attributed amethyst as having certain miraculous powers such as protecting crops from being ravaged by locusts and tempests, driving out evil spirits, bringing good fortune in hunting animals, and inspiring the intellect.
Medieval European soldiers would wear an amethyst amulet around their neck in the belief that it protected them in battle and kept them cool-headed, allowing for better concentration. Christian bishops even wear episcopal rings that are set with an amethyst stone as a an allusion to the apostles being “not drunk” at Pentecost in the new testament.
In gemstone therapy, an amethyst is a “go-to” stone in terms of its general healing properties. It is attributed with having a sobering and cleansing effect, able to quell excessive stomach acid, heal the withdrawal of any sort of addiction, and also help with headaches, insomnia, pain relief, asthma, and immune system deficiencies.