Etymology

The amethyst name comes from the ancient Greek méthystos (“intoxicated”), a reference to the belief that the stone protected its owner from drunkenness. It has been given countless magical and religious powers, Leonardo Da Vinci wrote that the amethyst has the power to dissipate evil thoughts and sharpen intelligence.

History

In classical Greek mythology, Dionysus was known as the god of wine and legend has it, that he pursued the beautiful amethyst, whom the goddess Artemis transformed into a rock to grant her desire to remain chaste. Dionysus poured wine over the rock as an apology, turning the crystals violet, hence the color of the amethyst. The amethyst is a gem known since ancient times, in the Egyptian Empire it was used to make jewelry and the art of glyptic, carving personal seals. Many years later, Christianity took it as a sign of renunciation of any possessions and chastity, and today it is still used in rings by some members of the church.

Amethyst Characteristics and Properties

Mineral Type Group IV Oxides
Color Violet, red violet pale
Streak White
Hardness 7 Mohs
Specific Gravity 2.65
Cleavage None
Fracture Conchoidal
Crystal System Trigonal
Habit Prism, rhombohedron, trapezohedron y bipyramid
Chemical Formula SiO2
Optical Properties Uniaxial (+)
Transparency Transparent
Luster Between waxen and vitreous
Refractive Index 1.544 – 1.553
Birefringence 0.009
Dispersion 0.013 (BG) 0.008 (CF)
Pleochroism Very weak, Violet Reddish, Gray Violet
Fluorescence Weak, greenish

Deposits

It is commonly found in drusen, cracks, and shoals. Some of the largest amethyst deposits are in Madagascar, Brazil, Uruguay, and Zambia, and less frequently in Mexico, India, Canada, Myanmar (Burma), Namibia, Russia, Sri Lanka, and the United States, among others.

It is considered a stone suitable for meditation and beneficial to channeling skills (clairvoyance)

Uses

In jewelry, it is a highly valued gemstone because of its beauty. In the field of crystal therapy, it is said to have a high vibrational frequency that makes it effective to work on personal development and heighten perception; it brings balance, inner peace by helping to overcome losses and addictions. It is considered a stone suitable for meditation and beneficial to channeling skills (clairvoyance).

Amethyst False Names

An amethyst can be confused with the beryl, fluorite, kunzite, spinel, topaz, tourmaline and tinted glass. Today, it is very usual to get synthetic amethysts on the market.