A Writers Guide to Amethyst



Amethyst is a variety of quartz with a purple hue. It may have secondary tones of blue and sometimes red. When exposed to heat, the natural irradiation, which causes the violet color, may be partially cancelled turning the stone yellow or green. The highest grade of amethyst is called Deep Russian, which is extremely rare.

The gem’s name comes from the Ancient Greek “amethystos” which translates to “not drunk.”

History and Lore

  • Ancient Greeks and Romans wore amethyst and drank wine from amethyst goblets to prevent intoxication. (I wonder how that worked out.)
  • Medieval soldiers wore amethyst to protect them from harm and to help ensure victory.
  • In mythology, Artemis saved Amethystos from Dionysus (the god of wine) by turning her into white stone. What Dionysus did that caused the need for Amethystos’ saving depends on the story. In one, he wanted to get with her, but she did not want to get with him. In another, he was fending off intruders with vicious tigers and she happened to pass by. Either way, Dionysus was saddened by what happened to Amethystos and poured wine over the stone in tribute or cried tears of wine (again depending on the story) forever dying the stone purple.
  • Leonardo da Vinci wrote that amethyst was able to vanquish evil thoughts and quicken one’s intelligence.
  • In Tibet, amethyst is sacred to Buddha and rosaries can be found fashioned from it.

Famous Amethysts

  • Kent Amethyst: A demi-parure set that includes a necklace, earrings, three brooches, and a pair of hair combs. Orginally owned by Queen Victoria’s mother, the Duchess of Kent, who left it to her daughter. It has been subsequently left to the Crown.
  • Morris Amethyst Brooch: A 96-carat heart shaped amethyst surrounded by diamonds.
  • Napoleonic Amethyst: A parure set that includes a tiara, a pair of bracelets (that can be worn as a necklace), earrings, brooches, and pins. Owned by the Swedish royals, given by Empress Joséphine to her daughter-in-law, Augusta of Bavaria.
  • Queen Alexandra’s Amethysts: Tiara and necklace set. The tiara features seven large, oval-shaped Siberian amethysts set in diamonds. The jewelry was given to Queen Alexandra by her brother-in-law, Tsar Alexander III of Russia.
  • Tavistock Amethysts: Necklace and tiara set with wine-colored amethysts.

*Demi-Parure is a matching set of jewelry, usually containing a necklace, earrings, and/or a pin. A parure is a full set with a matching necklace, earrings, brooch, bracelet and often a diadem or tiara.

Magical and Mystical Properties include

  • relief of headaches
  • healing physical ailments
  • protection from violence
  • warding off danger, both physical and psychic
  • reducing anger
  • reducing impatience
  • increasing concentration
  • bolstering confidence
  • placing under the pillow to help stop insomnia and/or allow peaceful rest and fend off nightmares
  • helping to quiet a restless mind
  • if used on a disturbed mind, it will worsen the problem

The consensus is that this stone repels negative energy rather than attracting positive energy.

Discharging & Recharging

To discharge amethyst, let warm water run over the stone. To recharge amethyst, place it among hematite in a dark place. (In stone therapy, when using stones to heal, their energy is used up, requiring the stones to be recharged.)

Are you a rockhound like me? Have you ever used gems or crystals in your stories in any manner?

This is a reference for fiction writers and should not be taken as medical or spiritual advice.gemstone index

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  1. This is great :o) I couldnt wait for you to start your challenge. Such an interesting theme.


  2. awwww I just realised you wont be doing my birthstone 'aquamarine' 🙁

  3. This was so fascinating. I've heard about the healing power of crystals but never looked into it. I seriously think I will now.

    Question: Where can I buy these kinds of crystals? Are they expensive?

  4. I have a huge chunk of this by my bed and yes I'm a rock hound. Can you tell me where I can find one of those goblets? I'd be happy to report back to you as to its effectiveness 🙂
    Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

  5. Hi Holly .. I love minerals and stones .. but like Jules – I'd be happy with “a not get drunk goblet”! Fascinating .. and fun .. I have an amethyst and silver bracelet .. and had chunks – but left them in South Africa! love the learning – Cheers Hilary

  6. Amethyst is my favourite crystal. I've worn an amethyst ring for years and I have a big piece of natural crystal that is a treasured possession. Interesting to learn that it repels energy — important to me as an introvert!

  7. I like the idea of using them in a story, to bring another dimension to a character. What a great reference you've given us.

  8. I had a story idea a while back where I used crystals. I forgot most of it. Thanks for the reminder!

  9. I love amethyst! Near Thunder Bay, Ont. where I grew up, there are a couple of amethyst mines, and when we go up to visit the grandparents, the kids and I love to go to the mine and look for treasures!

  10. Ooh, I write fantasy and love using stuff like this in my stories. I like learning about the symbology and different properties. It triggers all kinds of ideas.

  11. Thanks for stopping by my website! Yes, I have used a gem in one of my stories. I didn't give it a specific name but it was amber colored and was set in gold to make a necklace for one of my characters.
    Happy writing in the A-Z Challenge!

  12. “drank wine from amethyst goblets to prevent intoxication”
    Now if that works, I'd go buy a chunk and have someone make me a goblet. I could sip wine all day and not have a thing to worry about.

    Happy Friday!

  13. This is my birth stone! :o)

  14. awesome theme! We A-Zers have a big challenge ahead of us, but I think it'll be fun! By the way, drop by my blog sometime. You have an AWARD waiting for you

  15. A very interesting read! I don't think I have any gems or crystals in my stories… I do have sea glass in my last one.

  16. I really enjoyed your post, Holly. I loved the mythology behind the crystal.

  17. Great post – I'm a rockhound too! I actually have rock tumblers in my garage (though I haven't used them in a few years – I need to get back into it). I do use rocks and minerals in my stories – historical fiction lends itself to that bigtime, and knowing what kind of stone was used when (and where) adds a neat depth to the narrative.

    Then again, I like things that sparkle.

    I've loaded your blog on my Google reader so I can follow along. The A-Z blogging challenge is definitely a great way to find new blogs!

  18. I love rocks and my son is shaping up to follow in my footsteps. Between the two of us, we've got a nice collection on our bookcases. Love the stone therapy info! Thanks!

  19. Amethyst is gorgeous, but now that I know it can ease headaches, I'm going out to buy some! (Hey, I've tried everything else…so why not? :D)

    Great post!

  20. I love this post! Rock collecting is one of my hobbies. 🙂

  21. I don't know if it's just a way to be unique but I'm loving all the wonderful new things I'm learning in this fest. Thanks for this intriguing post.

  22. It's my birthstone and i don't get drunk because I don't have much of a taste for alcohol. Your post was very entertaining :O)

  23. All this time and I didn't know you were a rock hound. My grandpa was, so it's in my blood–and purple being my favorite color, I always wished I was born in February. I love Amethyst. Didn't know the stories though–I have earrings and always think 'amethyst for strength' when I put them on–don't remember who told me, but I've always known it meant emotional or mental strength.

  24. Oh wow, this is fascinating. I didn't realise the gemstone was used for so much and had such an interesting background.

  25. Very interesting and helpful post. Thanks. 🙂

  26. Great start for A-Z! I love learning new things and have always been interested in learning more about crystals and gemstones. I'm really looking forward to following you!

  27. I'm no rock head but I learning lots of new things from the challenge. All the best to you in the challenge.

  28. OH, I loved learning about some of the history of amethyst. Cool!

    Not a rock hound, but I love looking at them. My angle is learning how they're formed. I fell in love with earth science in 6th grade and never got over it.

    Can't wait to read more!

  29. Oh what a great idea! I love amethyst and this was so unique!!!

  30. I wouldn't say I'm a rockhound, but I can definitely say. I have a great appreciation for sparkles! Amethyst is anpsrticular favorite since it's my fave color!! Neat info, too…

  31. I need some amethyst, quick…my concentration is off! ;-D Very informative post; Great Job!

  32. Love your blog plan. I love rocks and stones and look forward to seeing what you bring for the next letters.


  33. I think amethyst is one of the protecting stones of my zodiac sign 🙂

  34. I haven't ever thought of using stones in any way in my stories, but by the time you're done… 😀

  35. More great info. Amethyst is one of my favorites. 🙂

  36. I love the theme you chose to base your A-Z challenge on!

    Amethysts are one of my favourite cystals, especially when they're in a geode.

  37. This was the first stone that took my eye – we all used to wear amethyst back in the day. I hope your 'L' post will be larimar. 🙂

  38. Niki, I think the hardest part is choosing what stone to go with.

    Jennifer, rock shops are all over even in science museums. Some of the best ones are near National Parks or beach communities. Stones range in price with variety, size, etc. Since you’re looking for tumbled or raw stones not for cut, polished ones you can get small chunks for just a few dollars. The geode piece in this photo is probably pretty pricey, but it is gorgeous.

    Jules if you find one and try it out, let me know if the rumor is true.;)

    –you too Hilary

    Debra, my favorite is natural crystal, just like nature made it.

    Joanne, thanks!

    You’re welcome Hannah.

  39. Susan, did you know your profile is not enabled?

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