Amethyst is not only the birthstone for the month of February, it is also the gemstone for the 6th wedding anniversary.
Amethyst is the purple variety of Quartz and it has many popular symbolic and folkloric associations. One of the most well-known is Amethyst’s supposed powers to prevent drunkenness. The story goes back to a myth about Bacchus, the Roman god of wine, who was in a terrible mood one day and decided to take revenge on the first person that crossed his path. That person happened to be a young maiden and Bacchus released his two guardian tigers on her. The goddess Diana decided to intervene in this injustice and to spare the maiden from a horrible fate by turning her into a pure, clear stone. Bacchus was so seized with remorse for what he had attempted to do that he poured his wine over the stone, staining the crystal a deep violet hue. The maiden’s name was Amethyst so the crystal was named after her.
This story doesn’t have much to do with drunkenness, but the word “Amethystos” means “not drunk” in Ancient Greek. The belief was that you could drink all night and not get drunk if you had an Amethyst crystal in your mouth or in your pocket.
This is, of course, lore and mythology and I do not recommend anyone try it to prevent drunkenness 😊
On a spiritual side, Amethyst is known as a stone of peace and healing. It is also known as one of the more powerful healing stones.
Russia was the major source of Amethyst until the 19th century. Large deposits were then found in Brazil. Because of its abundance, Amethyst went from being as rare as Ruby or Emerald to be abundant.
On the Mohs scale of hardness, Amethyst is a 7. It is fine to wear every day, but over time it may show abraded surfaces, especially in rings. Be careful not to store your Amethyst jewellery with harder stones that may scratch them.
Amethyst jewelry can safely be cleaned with an ultrasonic cleaner, but steam cleaning is not recommended. A soft brush with mild soap is the safest option but make sure your brush is very soft as to not scratch the surface. As with all your jewellery, taking it to your local jeweller will ensure that it is cleaned properly.