Amethyst – Get to know your crystals: Science and Legends behind it


The Facts

light lilac amethystThe amethyst is purple variety of quartz, which is basically silicon-dioxide (SiO2) .It’s special purple-violet color originates in iron impurities present in quartz.

When heated at high temperatures (900C)  it turns into yellowish-golden stone. Such stone is in fact known as citrine. The citrine that occurred in nature are considered more expensive but chemical and physical propertes of both gemstones, nature occurred and oven-baked one, are practically the same.
Sometimes, amethyst and citrine can be found in the same crystal, having purple and orange parts layered, and then is known as ametrine .
For more than 5 000 years, amethyst has been used as ornament in Europe and Asia.
Purple was considered a royal colour so it’s not surprising that amethyst was in great demand during history. Ranging from a pale lilac to a rich wine color,  is nothing if not regal in appearance

The idea that the stone could guard against drunkenness does go back to the Ancient Greeks. Amethystos means “not drunk” in Ancient Greek. They believed you could drink all night and remain sober if you had an amethyst in your mouth or on your person.

The Legends

This legend says that Artemis, the goddess of hunting, saved the nymph Amethyst from the advances of Dionysus, the god of wine. In his anger, Dionysus pursued Amethyst to overcome her by force. To save herself, the nymph started to call for Artemis, the protector of chastity.

Artemis contrived to turn the nymph into a crystal of violet amethyst which fell to the ground and was lost, leaving Dionysus with nothing. Thus, in memory of the Amethyst who refused the god of wine and merriment, the stone was considered a means of avoiding drunkenness, encouraging common sense and having good luck when hunting or participating in sports competitions.

Closely following Greek mythology, Romans also believed the crystal protected one from drunkenness. Creating stone goblets to drink from.

Catherine the Great of Russia, big fan of this stone, sent thousands of workers to dig in the Russian mines in search for the best quality, thus creating the famous “Siberian” quality.

Checkout our AAA grade amethyst and include its magic in art you make!

Intense violet amethyst AAA grade 21 mm nugget beads

Light lilac amethyst AAA grade 21 mm nugget beads