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.
- 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?
series logo image by wikimedia.org, awesome colorization by me!