Amethyst is mainly used in jewelry and other decorations and is typically a shade light pink to dark purple, but can also be shades of red and blue. It is a type of quartz.
The name Amethyst is Greek and means “intoxicated”. It refers to the belief that this stone prevented whoever owned it from being drunk. Many ancient Greeks wore amethyst and they even made vessels for drinking that were decorated with this beautiful stone. They believed by drinking from these vessels, you wouldn't become intoxicated. Amethyst is considered a semi precious stone and is the February birthstone.
The reason that Amethyst is purple is because of traces of iron in the quartz stone. The more iron in the stone, the deeper the coloring.
The most varieties of Amethyst are found in Brazil, the far east, Siberia and Sri Lanka.
The most valuable grade is called “Deep Siberian” and has a deep purple hue that makes up about 75%- 80% of it’s color. The remaining 15%- 20% of the coloring is blue or red.
Amethyst does not come in any shades of green, which is a common mistake. If it looks like amethyst, but is green in color, it is probably Prasiolite, Vermarine (green quartz) or Lime Citrine.
There is a technique to cutting amethyst, due to the parallel stripes of color on the face of the crystal. Cutting this stone should be done in a way that makes the final product homogeneous. Sometimes the coloring is only a thin surface layer of the stone and one must be careful.
When amethyst is heated, it turns a yellow-brown, yellow-orange or brownish color and can resemble citrine. Amethyst can fade if exposed to light, but can be artificially darkened with irradiation.
The ancient Egyptians used amethyst as a gemstone and the Greeks had their beliefs about it preventing intoxication. Medieval Europeans wore amethyst into battle as a protection stone and believed that it could heal people and keep them calm. The Anglo-Saxons used amethyst on their graves found in England. Western Christian bishops will wear rings with amethyst to prove that they are not drunk.
Amethyst was once just as valuable as diamonds, emeralds and rubies. But after a plethora of it was found in Brazil, the value has actually went down.
Today people use amethyst as a powerful healing stone. It is said to connect with the 6th & 7th chakras and promotes healing of emotional damage, headaches and pain. It enhances intuition, lucid dreams and promotes peacefulness. Also used as protection.