One of the best beauties of Greek, amethyst gemstone derives its name from a Greek word, which means ‘not intoxicated’. This gemstone is believed to protect against drunkenness by curing the wearer off the addiction. Legend goes that Roman emperors used cups made of amethyst with a hope that the material would break the poisonous effects, if any. They were said to use these cups with a hope that the cups made of amethyst would prevent them from getting drunk.
History Of Amethyst
Amethyst is a form of quartz. Mostly purple in color, the gemstone is available in other shades such as lavender, mauve and light lilac. These gemstones are found in alluvial deposits and inside geodes. The geodes are formed in basalts, which are igneous rocks. The ferric iron in the quartz crystal in basalts form color centers. The color center is activated when an electron is separated from ferric iron atom by the natural ionizing radiation. All colors except purple shades are absorbed by the color center on activation and the purple shades are then transmitted. Thus, amethyst acquires its color. The intensity of the color of amethyst depends on the iron content in the quartz. To obtain deeper color, most of these gemstones are heat-treated. Heat-treatment amethysts retain the deeper shade.
Sources Of Amethyst
Amethysts are found in various parts of the world. Brazil is the top producer of amethysts. Yet another country that produces amethysts in great numbers is Uruguay. Other countries that produce amethysts include Greece, Madagascar, Russia, Germany, Canada, United States of America, Afghanistan, Austria, Italy, Hungary and Pakistan.
Stories About Amethyst
If there is a gemstone, there is a story. The more attractive and ancient the gemstone is, the greater are the stories that revolve around them. A very interesting legend about amethyst goes thus; The Roman god of wine, Bacchus, was ferocious when he was not acknowledged. Hence, he decided to attack the first mortal who came by his way and who had not drunk alcohol so far in life. Along the way came Amethyst, a young girl around 14 years of age to offer flowers to Diana, the moon goddess. Bacchus, still in the ferocious mood, sent two of his tigers to attack the innocent girl. Diana, the moon goddess saw what was coming and quickly acted by turning Amethyst into a crystal stone. Thus, the girl was saved. Bacchus witnessed this and he began weeping. In the moments that followed, he accidentally spilt the wine over Amethyst, who then turned purple from the white quartz that she was. This interesting story that has been doing the rounds for ages.
Uses Of Amethyst
Amethysts have been used since ancient times. They were believed to help in overcoming addictions. They were considered useful in addressing hearing impairments, insomnia and headaches. They were considered wonderful remedy for mental conditions as they were used to balance emotions.
Value Of Amethyst
While quality amethyst may be slightly expensive, these gemstones are generally not as expensive as their qualities would command. This is owing to the availability of amethysts in great numbers. Being available in many parts of the world, these gemstones are widely used in the making of jewelry. They have become so common that they are sold for lesser price. As far as the buyer is concerned, it is indeed great news that he could buy an alluring gemstone for a low price.