Amethyst, a violet variety of quartz, is frequently used in jewelry making and is the traditional birthstone for people born in February. These are formed by the deposition of clay, silt, sand, or gravel when compressed by running water.
Amethyst used to be expensive like Ruby and Emerald until Brazil’s large deposits were discovered, making it available in abundance. Although these semiprecious stones can also be found in India, Sri Lanka, Madagascar, Germany, Australia, Africa, Mexico, Russia and the United States.
Since purple is a color which is often associated with power and authority, these gemstones were popular amongst royal families and were frequently embedded in their crowns and ornaments. Depending on the minerals present in quartz, Amethyst’s transparency almost always varies from translucent to opaque with colors ranging from pale lavender or lilac to deep and vivid purple, and may exhibit secondary hues of red and blue, like reddish-purple or yellowish-purple.
As per Greek legends, Amethyst is associated with Bacchus, the god of wine and because it showcases a wine-like color it is believed to protect the one who possesses the gemstone from alcohol intoxication. Going along this line, this stone derives its name from the ancient Greek letter ἀ (alpha) and méthystos (intoxicated), hence Amethyst (not intoxicated) which gives the literal meaning "to prevent drunkenness". Some beliefs also reflect that the stone keeps its wearer quick-witted and clear-headed in personal and professional affairs, while others use it during meditation with a faith that it helps evoke feelings of serenity and calmness. Ironically, Amethyst’s unique and seductive color is in fact said to protect its wearer from seduction.
Browse our selection of amethyst beads to find a bead in the perfect color and style for your next gemstone beaded project.