Amethyst has been a prized gem for centuries. It is the birthstone for Pisces and the month of February, and the gemstone for the 6th anniversary of marriage. The stone is included in royal collections all over the world, from ancient Egypt to the British crown jewels. The Smithsonian has an amethyst that weighs 400 pounds! Ancient civilizations prized the stone more than many gems, which today, enjoy more recognition and value, including sapphires and rubies.
In olden times, Amethyst saw its place in the Christian church, worn on Bishops’ rings. The royal purple color used to symbolize Christ. For some time, true amethyst was as valued as diamonds. When great finds in South America and elsewhere made it more plentiful, its rarity decreased, and so did its price.
According to Greek mythology, Amethyst was a young virgin who became the object of wrath of the Greek God Dionysus after he became intoxicated with red wine. When Amethyst cried out to Goddess Diana for help, she immediately turned the girl into a white, shimmering stone. When Dionysus realized what had happened and felt remorse for his actions, his tears dripped into his goblet of red wine. The goblet overturned, and the red wine spilled all over the white rock, saturating it until it became the purple quartz that is now known as Amethyst.