January 31, 2021: Stories in the Stones-Amethysts
Amethyst, continues to be a popular type of quartz crystals today, as well as 2000 years ago. It is the birthstone for February and Pisces, and a gemstone renowned through the ages, for its rich colors and reputed power to stimulate the mind, calm the emotions and heal.
In modern times, Amethyst is considered a semi-precious crystal, but before the 19th century, was valued as a precious stone due to its rarity. Only the very rich or royalty could afford them. Since then, there have been deposits found around the world which has made them more available and affordable. Natural amethyst can be found in Bolivia, Brazil, Tanzania, Uruguay and Zambia, and in the United States, Arizona. Its beauty is evident whether the stone is in its natural state, cut or polished into jewels.
It’s history dates as far back to the ancient Egyptians and Greeks where it was considered an antidote to drunkeness. The name amethyst comes from the ancient Greek word amethustos, meaning sober. A classic Greek legend is that Amethystas was a young virgin who incurred the wrath of the Greek God Dionysus (Bacchus), the god of wine and revelry. For protection the young girl called out to the Goddess Diana for help. Diana turned her into a white stone (quartz). When Dionysus realized what had happened, his remorse was expressed by tears that dripped into his goblet of wine. The wine overflowed and saturated the white rock, turning it to the purple quartz we know as amethyst. Ancient Greeks believed that if you had an amethyst on your person or in your mouth, it would prevent drunkeness. Note: Although this story sounds like a classic Greek myth, it actually only dates back to the Renaissance period when the French poet, Remy Belleau, created it in 1576 as part of a poem on gemstone beliefs.
In ancient Egypt, amethyst was the representative of the zodiac sign of the goat. The association with a goat came from the fact that the animal, a perceived enemy of vineyards, was an antidote of the effects of wine.
Amethyst in olden times with its royal purple color was said to symbolize Christ in the Christian church, and was worn on Bishops’ rings. The stone is also a symbol of Saint Matthias.
Through the ages, Amethyst, has the reputation of being a powerful stone, with a wide range of abilities. Here are just a few: Amethyst is thought to be able to:
- 1. protect the wearer from contagious diseases
- 2. calm turbulent thoughts
- 3. encourages bravery and contemplation
- 4. chastity and sobriety
- 5. promotes healing and protects against disease
- 6. assist in the attributes of prophecy and promote visions
- 7. bring riches and powers to its owners
In modern times, amethyst remains a popular source of crystal and natural healings. For example, amethyst earrings are promoted to help cure a headache and clarify tangled thoughts.
We love learning about the gemstones we incorporate into our handcrafted jewelry. At the beginning of each month we will feature its birthstone in a continuation of our Stories in the Stones series.
Thanks so much for taking time out of your busy day to read our blog. We welcome your thoughts and invite you to share it with someone who might find it meaningful.
In the meantime, stay healthy and safe!
Best regards, Wendy & Ron