MEANING: The word amethyst comes from the Greek word “amethystos” meaning “not drunk,” and was believed to prevent its wearers from intoxication.
COMMON SPECIES: Amethyst is a variety of quartz.
COLOUR: Faint mauve to a rich purple.
MOHS HARDNESS: 7
OPTICAL PROPERTIES: Double refractive.
HISTORY IN JEWELLERY: The Egyptians made bracelets of multiple strains of coloured gemstones including amethyst, carnelian, green feldspar, and turquoise.
TREATMENTS AND ENHANCEMENTS: Can be heat treated to enhance the colour or to change the colour to create Citrine.
LEGENDS: Aside from supposedly preventing drunkenness the amethyst was believed to hold calming properties. They are said to help the mind flow freely and help the wearer be in tune with the divine.
GIFTING: St. Valentine was said to have worn an amethyst ring carved with Cupid’s likeness.
ASSOCIATIONS: Birthstone for February. Often gifted for the 6th wedding anniversary.
SIMILAR GEMSTONES: The colour of Amethyst is rather unique, and few gems are confused with it, especially in deeper shades. Purple Sapphire and Purple Spinel may be the same colour of Amethyst, but these are both very rare and command much higher prices than Amethyst.
CARING FOR AMETHYST: Amethyst can be safely cleaned with warm soapy water. Ultrasonic cleaners are usually safe except in the rare instances where a stone is dyed or treated by fracture filling. Steam cleaning is not recommended, and amethyst should not be subjected to heat.