Amethyst - one of the January stones mascots

The stone is a violet of varying intensity and sometimes with a pinkish or reddish tint, version of quartz. It has been known since antiquity and is the most valuable in the quartz group. The color of amethyst can vary greatly from purple with a reddish tint to blue-lilac. Amethyst can fade when exposed to sunlight. In nature, amethyst is found in the form of elongated and scepter-shaped crystals. As a rule, the length of the crystals is from 5 to 100 mm. Quite large crystals are sometimes found. The US National Collection contains a faceted Brazilian amethyst weighing 1,362 carats.

The best amethysts are mined mainly in Brazil, the USA, Uruguay, Bolivia, and the Urals. Natural amethyst is a chameleon stone.

People have known the mineral for a very long time, even in Ancient Greece; a very beautiful sad legend was shaped in connection with it, associated with Dionysus and the beautiful nymph Amethis (Amethio), with whom the god was unrequitedly in love. The girl rejected the claims of Dionysus because she was in love with another person. Obsessed with passion, the angry god decided to take the gorgeous girl against her will. Fleeing from the persecution of the intoxicated Dionysus, the nymph called on her patron goddess Artemis for help, and the later turned the nymph into a statue of transparent shimmering stone. Seeing the petrified nymph, the saddened Dionysus tried to resurrect her and began to pour red wine from the goblet. Hence, Amethis did not come to life and the red color of the wine encolored the stone with delicate purple hint. The ancient Greeks and the Romans later considered amethyst to be a reliable talisman against intoxication and poisoning and made peculiar amethyst bowls for wine. Christians assimilated all the potential of this stone accumulated in various legends, and made amethyst the official symbol of the thoughts purity and resistance to temptations. Each Pope during his accession to the throne receives a ring with an amethyst as a gift.

The mineral was also considered the stone of kings, and crystals of pale purple color were called the "the rose of France".

In Russia, these stones with reddish tint have always been loved. They had two names - "dumpling" and "amethis". In churches, they were used to adorn the altar, the guise of priests and their crosses.

The healing properties of amethyst are mentioned in Russian medical books of the eighteenth century: "The power of this stone is as follows: drunkenness drives away, dashing thoughts removes, endows with a good mind ...»

It is believed that the stone instils cheerfulness and self-confidence to its owner, makes a person reasonable. Therefore, people that believe that stones have healing properties recommend wearing amethyst to improve cerebral circulation, treat insomnia, anxiety and nervous breakdowns. A ring with amethyst, worn on the ring finger of the right hand (for men) and the left hand (for women), strengthens the immune system, while earrings with amethyst help to improve vision. Jewelry with amethyst is not recommended to be worn all the time. The stone is able to accumulate the negative energy and transmit it to the owner of item with this stone. Therefore, amethyst needs time for “rest and self-cleaning”, or you can also periodically clean it by rinsing it under running water.

As a mascot for those who was born in January, the stone attracts the mercy of higher powers, resolve conflicts, brings success in business, promotes profitable trade and protects their property.

The museum Collection section “Lapidary works of art”  features a variety of items made of amethyst or with amethyst.

Thematic photo album is in our Photo Gallery.

On the cover:
Easter egg "Pine-cone"
Germany, Idar-Oberstein. The 20th century
Manfred Wild, Emile Becker firm

Publicly available sources