Amethyst (and Citrine) are some of the many varieties of the mineral Quartz, Amethyst is of the purple/violet variety.
Ancient Greeks wore amethyst and carved drinking vessels from it in the belief that it would prevent intoxication. Amethyst was used as a gemstone by the ancient Egyptians and was largely employed in antiquity for intaglio engraved gems. Medieval European soldiers wore amethyst amulets as protection in battle in the belief that amethysts heal people and keep them cool-headed. Beads of amethyst were found in Anglo-Saxon graves in England.
- Mohs Hardness: 7
- Chemistry: SiO2
- Amethyst is the birthstone for February
- 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.
- Amethyst’s purple color can range from a light lilac to a deep, intense royal purple, and from brownish to vivid.
- Amethyst also commonly shows what is called color zoning, which in the case of amethyst usually consists of angular zones of darker to lighter color.
- Because of its wine-like color, early Greek legends associated amethyst with Dionysus, the god of wine and pleasure. The Romans called him Bacchus.
- Because amethyst was associated with wine, it was believed that wearing amethyst prevented drunkeness.