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Amethyst

The beautiful shades of the Amethyst gemstones can be as soft as lavender or as deep as royal purple.

Information

Amethyst is a well-known mineral and gemstone, it is the purple variety of the mineral Quartz and it’s most valuable and prized variety. Its name derives from the Greek “amethystos”, which means “not drunken”, as Amethyst in antiquity was thought to ward off drunkenness. The colour of some Amethyst specimens from certain localities slowly fade upon prolonged exposure to light.

When used as a gemstone, Amethyst is often heat treated to deepen the colour, or to transform it into Citrine. Some varieties may also change to a light green colour, which is given the trade name “Prasiolite”, or “Green Amethyst”, as it is more commonly known in the gem trade.

The Egyptians often used amathysts for Talismans, their soldiers wearing them as Amulets for success in their exploits and calmness in danger. The ancient Roman author Pliny says the Magi believed that if the symbols of the Sun and Moon were engraved upon the Amethyst it made a powerful charm against witchcraft, and gave its wearers success to their petitions, good luck and favour with those in authority.

World’s biggest Amethyst Geode – The ‘Empress of Uruguay’ – Atherton Tablelands, Cairns

At well over three metres tall (that’s eleven feet) and weighing two and a half tonnes, the size is certainly impressive but it’s the sheer beauty that makes people gasp when they first see her. This is the World’s biggest Amethyst Geode – The Empress of Uruguay but the tens of thousands perfect, deep purple Amethyst crystals that nature has formed naturally inside truly amaze everyone who sees her. It is very unusual to see Amethyst crystals of this quality – rated as being “AA Jewellery Quality” – and together in their thousands they present a truly dazzling sight. Many people spend long periods of time just gazing and absorbing the sheer beauty of The Empress, pondering the intricacies of nature.

The name amethyst derives from the ancient Greek word amethustos, meaning sober. It was said that an amethyst could prevent the bearer from becoming excessively drunk and also instills a sober and serious mind. It was believed that if a person drank from a cup or goblet made entirely of amethyst, he or she would not get drunk at all. In Greek mythology, amethyst was rock crystal dyed purple by the tears of Dionysus, the god of wine and revelry. Ancient Egyptians used the stone as the representative of the zodiac sign of the goat. The goat was considered the enemy of vines and vineyards, and therefore the antidote of wine.