History & Lore

Greek mythology records the tale of Amethystas, a mortal maiden that caught the attention of the god Dionysus.  Dionysus, the god of wine and overindulgence, pursued Amethystas, but she fled from him in fear of her chastity.  Amethystas prayed fervently to the goddess Artemis, and Artemis took pity on the girl.  She turned the young woman into a glittering block of quartz crystal, preserving her purity.  When Dionysus discovered that the woman he'd desired had been transformed, he wept tears of wine over the crystal, staining it a deep purple.  It is from this myth that amethyst derives its name.  Amethystas means "not drunken", and the stone has long been associated with sobriety and protection from drunkenness.

Amethyst is the most valuable form of quartz crystal, and for many centuries was held as an equal to the diamond.  It can be found throughout time from the tombs of Egyptian pharaohs to the simple burials of European soldiers.

In Medieval Ages, amethyst was used to cure headaches and insomnia and to protect soldiers riding to war.  It was prescribed to those who suffered distresses of the mind to bring peace and clarity.  During the Renaissance, amethyst was seen as a stone of humility and modesty.  In traditional Chinese medicine, amethyst was a prescribed cure for a host of ailments including stomach pains and bad dreams.


Birthstone:  February

Zodiac:  Pisces, Aries, Sagittarius
Associated mainly with the sign of Pisces, amethyst brings strength and courage to the Piscean, especially in matters of love and the heart. Amethyst can also be useful for the signs of Aries and Sagittarius.  For Ariens, amethyst can assist with opening up and discovering spirituality. For Sagittarians, amethyst helps by reminding the wearer of life's worth and the importance of trusting instinct.

Chakra:  Crown
Amethyst is associated with the crown chakra.  The crown chakra is found on the top of the head and is the connection between the body and the higher spiritual plane.  Placed on this chakra, amethyst can assist during meditation by increasing concentration.

Healing Properties

Insomnia & Nightmares
Place an amethyst beneath your pillow, or wear an amethyst to bed, to ward off insomnia and bad dreams.  Amethyst will also help to insure you wake on time, rested, and ready to take on the day.

Depression and Mental Issues
Since the Medieval era, amethyst has been believed to bring peace to those who suffered from mental issues.  Amethyst is a calming stone, bringing clarity and focus to the mind.  It aids in concentration, and reminds the wearer of the meaningfulness of life.  Amethyst loosens mental blocks and reduces stress through relaxation.

Detoxify the Body
Pulling from the Greek myth that gave the stone its name, amethyst has long been associated with detoxifying the body of impurities.  It is especially useful for reversing the effects of dependency on alcohol or drugs.  It has also been used as a cure for poison by cleansing the blood.

The Greeks believed that amethyst protected against drunkenness.  Revelers would often wear an amethyst ring or necklace to help them stay sober and clear minded.  Cups were often made from amethyst with the belief that one could never get drunk when drinking from an amethyst vessel.

Headaches & Migraines
Worn in a necklace or earrings, amethyst is believed to alleviate the pain of headaches and migraines. An amethyst can be placed on the forehead to help in this manner as well.

Lung Illness
Wearing an amethyst necklace can help alleviate many lung issues from common chest congestion to lung disease.

Protection from Disease
Since Medieval times, amethyst has been believed to protect the wearer from contagious diseases.  It was often used by travelers to ward off germs (and other nasty things).

Speed up Healing Process
Knights and soldiers heading into battle during the Medieval Ages would carry amethyst with them to protect against harm and facilitate healing in case of an injury.

Stomach Pains
In traditional Chinese medicine, amethyst was often prescribed for stomach pain.  Placing an amethyst on the abdomen area is particularly useful for those dealing with digestive issues or pain.


Stone of the Mind
Amethyst is a sober, calming stone.  As such, it is believed to aid in controlling and organizing thoughts and feelings.  Amethyst controls negative thoughts and boosts intelligence.  Mental blocks are overcome by amethyst, clearing the mind.  Those with a bad memory can also benefit from the boost of energy from the amethyst.  Amethyst sharpens and enhances mental powers.

Stone of Modesty & Purity
Because the story of the amethyst is often traced back to the Greek maiden Amethystas and her desire to remain chaste, amethyst is revered as a stone of modesty and purity.  It promotes both chastity and fidelity.  Some believed that wearing amethyst brought out a friendlier, gentler side.  In the Middle Ages, amethyst symbolized piety and celibacy and was often worn by members of the Catholic clergy.  Given between lovers, amethyst is a symbol of pure and true love.

Stone of Courage
Ancient soldiers would carry amethyst into battle believing that it would help them maintain a calm head in the heat of battle.  It was used to boost courage, calm fears, strengthen conviction and assist with good judgement.  Amethyst lifts the spirits and aids in justice and victory.

Stone of Protection
Amethyst was believed to protect against thieves, harm, and sickness during travel.  Amethyst wards off danger, violence, anger, and self-deception.  Amethyst has long been used in protection amulets as well. When engraved with the figure of a bear, amethyst is said to send demons fleeing.  In Greco-Roman times, amethyst was set in bronze and worn as charms to protect against evil.  Cups carved from the stone were believed to banish sorrow and evil from everyone that drank from the vessel.

Stone of the Spirit
Because of its association with the crown chakra, amethyst is a very spiritually enhanced stone.  It is believed to assist prophecy and psychic visions.  When used during meditation or psychic acts, amethyst helps concentrate the information received so that it can be appropriately interpreted and utilized.  Amethyst lifts the spirit, reminds us of the beauty of life, and inspires us to reach for higher spiritual aspirations.

Other Attributes Associated with Amethyst

Useful for business men and women
Solves discord, especially among family members or children
Amethyst Romanov Cuff
by Gypsy Grove
Helps hunters in search of prey
Bring material wealth and power
Bestows good judgement
Promotes a loving demeanor
Promotes inner balance
Brings stability

Physical Properties

Amethyst ranges from pale lavender to deep purple, as well as shades of lilac, mauve, and violet.

Amethyst is found all around the world including the US, Brazil, India, Uruguay, Mexico, Morocco, Australia, South Africa, and Sri Lanka. Location of the stone often causes variations in color.

Hardness Rating

Care of Amethysts

Amethysts should never be kept in direct sunlight.  Sunlight and heat can change the color of the stone, washing it out over time.  Harsh cleaning chemicals and hairspray should also be avoided. Gentle soaps and a soft brush are ideal.

This post is for informative purposes only.  No claims are made about the safety or effectiveness of the information contained in this article.  All information is pulled from myth, legend, folklore, etc.  In no way is this article an attempt at medical advice.  Always seek a professional opinion when dealing with a physical or mental issue.

Stock photography from RGB Stock and Fotalia.

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