Amethyst has been a favourite of the rich, royalty, the clergy and those who believe in mystical and healing properties of stones.
It is one of the most beautiful forms of quartz and can range from pale mauve and lilac through to deep and vibrant purple. It has a moh hardness of 7, so quite a durable stone and can happily be facetted or smoothly polished and in cabochon form, all equally beautiful.
Amethyst can be found throughout the world, a lot of the amethyst we find in our jewellery today will usually come from the western hemisphere such as Canada, Brazil, Uruguay, Ontario, Vera Cruz, Mexico, Guerrero, Maine, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Colorado.
It is traditionally the birthstone for February and the Zodiac stone for Pisces.
Ancient Egyptians used the amethyst guard against guilty and fearful feelings. It has been worn as protection from self-deception, as well as a protection against witchcraft, which may be one of the reasons why amethyst was adopted by the Christian clergy. It is known as the Bishop's Stone and is still worn by Catholic Bishops. The amethyst symbolizes piety, humility, sincerity and spiritual wisdom.
Amethyst was also believed to encourage celibacy, which is another reason why it was used by the Catholic clergy in particular, which for some may seem at odds to it passionate purple colour, and for that reason it is often given as a gift of love!
Ancient Greeks loved Amethyst too, the word ‘amethyst’ comes from the Greek meaning "without drunkenness" and there is a story that the goddess Diana turned a nymph lady into an amethyst out of jealousy because she was loved by Bacchus, the god of wine. Bacchus, in despair, then poured wine over the statue, and the stone turned a purple colour!
Therefore, this story of Bacchus and amethyst may have got intertwined, and amethyst was believed to guard against drunkenness and instil a sober mind! Having worn amethyst myself, when I have been indulging, I can’t honestly say it worked for me! LOL!
For those that believe in physical or healing properties of stones, Amethyst is believed to be a cleansing stone, particularly effective for problems in the blood and breathing problems, alleviating bone issues. It is believed to strengthen both the endocrine and immune systems and to aid the pituitary gland and to be a powerful blood cleaner and energiser.
It is also said to be a calming stone, relieving stress and creating a calmer atmosphere, some people will have amethyst cluster geodes as ornamental decoration, not just for the beauty of the items, but also to keep a happy and calm atmosphere in the home!
I am not personally guaranteeing these properties of amethyst, I just adore this gemstone for its lovely purple tones and I am not the only one, I found so many amethyst items to choose from to feature in this blog.
If you would like a closer look at the wonderful items featured, please click on the pictures to be transported to their locations in their particular Folksy shops. Thank you for indulging my love of gemstones.
Very many thanks to Natalie of NOfkants Curios for her final blog in the series on gemstones. I have found all of them fascinating and have very much enjoyed seeing Natalie's Folksy finds.