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Among precious and semi-precious gemstones, amethysts are a popular and unique choice. With their stunning purple color and mythological symbolism, they exude a kind of royalty that is hard to resist. Read on to learn more about this enchanting gemstone.
What is an Amethyst?
Amethysts are part of the quartz family of gemstones, and they get their purple color from trace amounts of iron and aluminum within the crystal structure. The most popular and highly valued amethysts have a deep violet hue, but they can also come in shades of pinkish-purple or bluish-purple. Blue or greenish quartz that is commonly sold as amethyst is litearlly more valuable as green quartz rather than amethyst. Amethysts are considered semi-precious stones, but their value can rival some precious gems depending on the quality of the stone, the size, and the distribution of color.
The Mythology and History of Amethysts
The name amethyst comes from the ancient Greek phrase, amethystos, which means “not drunken” or “without drunkenness.” The Greeks and the Romans believed that amethysts had properties that could protect against drunkenness and overindulgence. It was also believed that Dionysus, the god of wine, became angry with mortals and swore to turn the next person he saw into stone. That person was a young maiden named Amethyst, who prayed to Artemis for safety. The goddess granted her wish by transforming her into a white crystal. When Dionysus saw her, he was moved by her beauty and remorse. He wept tears of wine and poured them over the stone, turning it purple.
In Christian tradition, it is said that Saint Valentine wore an amethyst ring engraved with the image of Cupid. The ring was believed to be imbued with a power of love, which could heal broken hearts and dissipate anger. For centuries, amethysts have been associated with royalty and power. They were cherished by rulers and monarchs, who incorporated them into their crown jewels and scepters.
Uses of Amethysts
Apart from their aesthetic and historical value, amethysts are believed to impart certain healing and spiritual qualities. Many people use amethysts for meditation and relaxation, as they are known to help calm the mind and promote a sense of inner peace. The gemstone is also famous for its alleged ability to stimulate creativity and intuition, and some people carry or wear them for this purpose.
In the world of science, it is thought that amethysts have electromagnetic properties that can neutralize harmful radiation and negative energies. People who work with computers or other electronic devices often keep amethysts nearby for this reason.
Buying and Caring for Amethysts
The quality of an amethyst depends on several factors, including its color, clarity, and cut. Deep violet amethysts with rose-colored flash are typically the most valuable; however, lighter colored amethysts with less inclusions can also be very beautiful. The cut of the stone also plays a significant role in its overall appearance, and there are many different cuts to choose from.
When buying an amethyst, it’s essential to be sure that you are getting a genuine stone. There are many synthetic or imitation amethysts on the market that are often sold as the real thing. To ensure authenticity, shop with a trusted jeweler, and ask for a certificate of origin or a grading report.
To care for amethysts, avoid exposing them to high heat or sudden changes in temperature, which can cause the stone to crack or fracture. Use warm soapy water and a soft-bristled brush to clean your amethyst, and avoid using harsh chemicals or ultrasonic cleaners.
In conclusion, amethysts are unique and stunning gemstones with a rich history and a host of alleged benefits. Whether you are drawn by their mythical charm or their healing properties, amethysts are a beautiful and worthwhile addition to any gemstone collection. Buy one for yourself, or gift one to someone you love.

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