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Amethyst Gemstones

Amethyst Gemstone History by Jeremy Foster

The origin of the amethyst name and even explanations for some of it's reputed properties have their foundations in the Greek mythology surrounding this semi-precious stone.  Amethyst's origin resides with the god Dionysus (Bacchus) and the goddess Diana. Dionysus, the god of wine, celebration, intoxication and joviality, became insulted by a mortal who had refused to acknowledge him. Enraged, Dionysus vowed to unleash his fury upon all mortals who did not partake in his gifts of wine and drunkenness. He immediately spotted a young maiden named Amethyst who was pure and unfamiliar with being intoxicated.

The unsuspecting young woman was on her way to pay homage to the goddess Diana, but was detained by the wrathful god. Dionysus summoned a pair of fierce, voracious tigers to devour the youth and sat back with his wine to watch. Amethyst cried out to Diana for aid and when Diana saw what was about to transpire, she quickly transformed the woman into a glimmering pure white stone (quartz) to protect her from the vicious wrath of Dionysus.

Moved with pity at the purity shown by the woman's transformation, Dionysus realized the ruthlessness of his actions and began to weep with sorrow. As the tears dripped into his goblet, Dionysus collapsed and the tear-tainted wine ran out onto the stone from the tipped cup. The white stone absorbed the color from the wine creating the stone now called amethyst - reputed to stand for both purity and to ward against drunkenness.

Amethyst continues to hold its association with purity and is often found in Catholic ornaments. It is also known as the stone of Bishops and many of them wear rings set with amethysts. Amethysts are also considered to be sacred to Buddha and rosaries from Tibet are often fashioned with them.

Amethyst has a hardness value of 6.5 to 7.0. Amethyst is the State Gemstone for South Carolina and the Canadian State Gemstone for the area of Ontario, Canada. Amethyst is the birthstone for the month of February, it’s an astrological birthstone for the sign of Sagittarius and it’s the lucky charm birthstone for the sign of Pisces. It’s the anniversary gemstone for the 4th ad 6th wedding anniversaries.

Some people believe amethyst gemstones can be used to remove undesirable attributes in the soul and bring about a more intense spirituality. It is said to deflect and redirect energies instead of absorbing them. Users of this powerful crystal believe that amethyst operates on levels that are out of our normal range of senses.

In healing, amethyst is used to help manic-depressives. It is said to bring thought patterns into alignment. It is believed that amethyst should be used sparingly as it is very powerful stone. Amethyst has been often given away as a symbol of sincerity. It is said to lend a feeling of security and contentment.  


Preston Reuther Master Wire Sculptor

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