Amethyst is the purple variety of the quartz family, and the birthstone of February. The color of amethyst varies from a soft, pale purple to a rich, deep purple, and is thought to be caused by manganese or iron impurities. It is found in numerous locations around the world, namely, Africa, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Europe, Mexico, Russia, and the USA.
Amethyst has long been viewed as a symbol and stone of royalty. It was used in English regalia such as crowns, scepters, and the rings of bishops. Amethyst, up until the 18th century was considered one of the most valuable gemstones alongside diamond, ruby, sapphire, and emerald. When numerous large deposits were discovered in places such as Brazil, Amethyst lost most of its value. Now it is a very accessible and affordable addition to your gemstone or crystal collection. Since its biggest value factor is no longer rarity, amethysts highest value factor is the color. Higher grade, or the most expensive pieces of amethyst will be ones with the most depth of color and saturation. However, some prefer the lighter or pale pieces of amethyst, both are beautiful in their own regard and is ultimately up to personal preference and affordability.
The word Amethyst comes from the Greek word ‘Amethystos’ meaning “without drunkenness” or “not drunken.” For the Greeks, Amethyst was thought to be an antidote against drunkenness, and used to prevent intoxication, which is why their wine goblets were often carved from Amethyst. This then inspired a French poet named Remy Belleau to write a myth (L'Amethyste, ou les Amours de Bacchus et d'Amethyste)." In his myth Bacchus, the god of intoxication, wine, and grapes pursued a woman named Amethyste, who refused his affections. She prayed for strength to refrain from Bacchus - which was answered in the form of being turned to white stone, to grant her wish of remaining chaste. Bacchus, who admired Amethyste’s will to resist, poured wine over the stone as an offering - dying the crystals purple.
When beginning to describe amethysts’ metaphysical properties, Robert Simmons in his Book of Stones uses the key words; protection, purification, divine, connection, and release of addictions. Amethyst resonates with the third eye and crown chakra, and it is a go-to stone for anti-anxiety or stress relief. It is also an ideal stone for enhancement of a physical environment. For example, placing amethyst clusters, geodes, points, etc. in one’s home, room, car, office, or any other space, can create a surrounding of light and protection. Even more specifically, placing amethyst in one’s room can keep the healing space very clear.
Amethyst does need clearing from time to time, and the easiest method is just to place the stone under running water for a short time. Quartz is not water soluble and very much likes the cleansing effects of water. Others choose to sage or place the stone in sunlight or moonlight. Only be weary of the sunlight method, as long-term exposure to sunlight can bleach the purple color from an amethyst. Amethyst harmonizes well with Moldavite, Azeztulite, Phenacite, Scolecite, Natrolite, and varieties of Quartz, Opal, Sugilite, and Black Tourmaline.