Amethyst is the most popular member of the quartz family. Its lovely clear purple shades are caused by traces of magnesium oxide. It has a Moh's harness of about 7, making it ideal for a variety of settings. Amethyst can lose its color if it is exposed to intense heat or light for prolonged periods of time.
This gemstone's name is derived from the Greek word "ametho", which mean "not drunken". A Greek legend says that Bacchus, the god of wine, was once in love with a young nymph named Amethyst. However, when she became a follower of Diana, the goddess of chastity, she refused his advances. His desires thwarted, Bacchus set his lions to destroy the young girl. Amethyst prayed to the goddess Diana to save her, and was immediately turned into a pure white crystal. When Bacchus saw what had happened, he was filled with remorse, and poured some of his wine over the stone, turning it purple.
In ancient times, amethysts were often worn or carved into goblets to protect one's sobriety and chastity. In the Middle Ages, they were used in Bishops' rings to protect the wearer from confusion and distraction. Amethysts were also good for gaining political power. Amethyst is the birth stone of Pisceans (Feb. 21- March 21).
In more recent times, large deposits of amethysts were found in South America, bringing the price down dramatically, and making them affordable to the general public
"I bought this with the intention of giving it as a gift. When she arrived, (only 2 days after I placed an order!!!) I couldn't bear to let her go. She is even more beautiful than pictured! Great quality in the simplicity of her understated design. Her 5 1/2" size commands the awe of a something larger!"by Xeraluna