Amethyst is a deep purple-tinted version of common quartz, caused by small impurities of iron in the crystal. It is chemically similar to the reddish-orange citrine, which can be produced when amethyst is heated and oxidized. Its crystals naturally form a hexagonal prism and pyramid. It has a mineral hardness of 7.


In early Greece, drinking from an amethyst cup was believed to protect one from inebriation -- probably because water could be substituted and still have the same purple color as real wine. In fact, the name for the gem derives from the Greek word amethustos, meaning "not drunken". Greek mythology attributes the origin of amethyst to Dionysus, who one day was angered by an insult from a mortal and swore to kill the next mortal who passed by with vicious tigers. That next mortal was a young maiden named Amethyst, on her way to pay tribute to the goddess Diana. Diana turned Amethyst into pure quartz to protect her from harm, and Dionysus wept tears of wine in remorse, staining the quartz purple.

Other ancient and medieval cultures believed amethyst would neutralize poison, stop nightmares, induce serenity and sharpen the mind, encourage celibacy, assist in hunting, and protect against harm in battle. Even today it is popular among practicioners of magic to amplify spiritual energies and psychic powers. It has also been popuar among royalty because of the symbolic nature of its color.


Amethyst is most frequently found in Brazil, Uruguay, Russia, Africa, Sri Lanka, Mexico, and India. In the United States the premier location for mining amethyst is on a mountain called Four Peaks near Phoenix, Arizona. However, it can also be synthesized with little difficulty and with very little detectable difference from a natural gem.

Amethyst is the birthstone for the month of February, the state gemstone of South Carolina, and is the symbolic gemstone for the 6th wedding anniversary.

A song by Soujirou

Now is the time
Take this tired moment and decide
to contemplate the puppet within your skin
a quick glance at yourself will tell you otherwise
but don't look in, don't look in
The farthest thing from yourself lies within me
I can't say what it is,
I certainly can
This insincerity, a narcotic cherub of faith.

An amethyst apocalypse wanders into this bed.
I can't understand why you don't know
why an Amethyst apocalypse crawls into your head
Why don't you just lay down and take that silly pill?

In the whisps of cloud you will confide
it is of airy insanity
why then, cling you to the uniformity
when all it brings is pain and hate
will you falter like you do
at your mother's gunpoint gravestone.
will you falter like you do
at your mother's gunpoint gravestone?

Am"e*thyst (#), [F. ametiste, amatiste, F. am'ethyste, L. amethystus, fr. Gr. without drunkenness; as a noun, a remedy for drunkenness, the amethyst, supposed to have this power; priv. + to be drunken, strong drink, wine. See Mead.]

1. Min.

A variety of crystallized quartz, of a purple or bluish violet color, of different shades. It is much used as a jeweler's stone.

Oriental amethyst, the violet-blue variety of transparent crystallized corundum or sapphire.

2. Her.

A purple color in a nobleman's escutcheon, or coat of arms.


© Webster 1913.

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