Because of its wine-like color, early Greek legends associated amethyst with Bacchus, the god of wine. Other legends reflected beliefs that amethyst kept its wearer clear-headed and quick-witted in battle and in business affairs.
Because amethyst was associated with wine, it was believed that wearing amethyst prevented drunkeness.
Fine amethysts have been set in religious jewelry and royal crown jewels for ages. It was once considered equal in value to ruby, emerald, and sapphire. It’s no wonder that fine amethyst adorns the fingers of bishops as well as the coronation regalia of British royalty.
Amethyst is the birthstone for February and one of the emblems of the twelve apostles.
Amethyst is the purple variety of the quartz mineral species. It’s the gem that’s most commonly associated with the color purple, even though there are other purple gems such as sapphire and tanzanite. Its purple color can be cool and bluish, or a reddish purple that’s sometimes referred to as “raspberry.”
Leonardo Da Vinci
The artist wrote that amethyst quickens intelligence and gets rid of evil thoughts.
Single amethyst crystals can be huge: the GIA Museum displayed a doubly terminated crystal that weighed 164 pounds.
- Mineral: Quartz
- Chemistry: SiO2
- Color: Purple
- Refractive Index: 1.544 to 1.553
- Birefringence: 0.009
- Specific Gravity: 2.66
- Mohs Hardness: 7