Amethyst is a violet variety of quartz often used in jewelry. The name comes from the ancient Greek (“not”) and (“intoxicated”), a reference to the belief that the stone protected its owner from drunkenness. The ancient Greeks wore amethyst and made drinking vessels decorated with it in the belief that it would prevent intoxication. It is one of several forms of quartz. Amethyst is a semi-precious stone and is the traditional birthstone for February.
It has been associated with many myths, legends, religions, and numerous cultures. Some historical accounts say that Saint Valentine had an amethyst ring carved with an image of Cupid. And for those familiar with Old Testament history, amethyst was one of the twelve gemstones that represented the twelve tribes of Israel.
For many years, amethyst was held to be one of the most precious gemstones, often favored by royalty or exclusively by the clergy as a symbol for the deity of Christ. It was even held for many years in the same regard as the diamond. It wasn’t until the discovery of more abundant supplies of Amethyst that it became a gemstone enjoyed by more than just the wealthiest buyers.