Amethyst, the birthstone for February, is a semi precious gem. This transparent to translucent purple stone has a specific gravity of 2.65 with a melting point of 1650 degree Celsius. This uniaxial crystal with piezoelectric characteristics is insoluble in most of the solvents.
This violet vitreous stone with six sided prisms exhibits conchoidal fracture. This trigonal trapezohedral purple stone belongs to a variety of mineral oxides as SiO2, known as quartz. Many impart its natural violet color to irradiation, impurities of transition elements and iron.
It has a twinning crystalline structure with white streaks. Owing to Amethyst same hardness as quartz, it is suitable for ornamental use. Furthermore, it was once believed that amethyst prevents intoxication and inebriation in binge drinkers. Subsequently, many Greeks decorated drinking vessels with amethyst to protect themselves against drunkenness.
Amethyst occurs in different shades from pinkish violet to lavender purple. Other hues like blue and red also tinge amethyst depending on the location of the amethyst. Brilliant forms of amethyst prevail in Siberian, Brazilian and Sri-Lankan regions. Deep Siberian comes off as the ‘ideal grade’ of hue for amethyst due to its 75-80% primary purple hue. The other 15-20% is blue and red.
Amethyst often forms large crystalline pyramids based on a matrix. This captivating stone can also occur as high prismatic crystals or may acquire the form of short and ‘stubby’ crystals. Other existing forms for Amethyst are massive geodes, druse aggregates, and round waterworn stones. There are horizontal striations in the crystalline lattice and these may show a scepter growth pattern.
Amethyst is one of the royal stones which are used in all rulers’ crowns from Egyptian civilizations to British colonialism. An amethyst weighing 400 pounds belongs to the Smithsonian. The gemstone for marriage’s sixth anniversary, Amethyst, is also the birthstone for the oldest zodiac sign, Pisces. Ancient civilizations believed that Amethyst as a prized stone possesses the talisman to boost intelligence, protect soldiers against war wounds, help in conquests, quicken business caliber, defy evil thoughts, ward off all diseases from the bearer and scared all demons away from the possessor.
Positive aspects of human nature get enthralled on the wearer of Amethyst. These vibrant aspects of nature include sobriety, self-control, and chastity. Amethyst has the magic to help avoid tempest of passion, violence, and baseness in its bearer. This charismatic stone promotes peace, contemplation, and courage for the possessor.
Amethyst is known as the stone of St. Valentine and of faithful lovers. From the word amethustos, meaning not to be drunk, this crystal is believed to defy drunkenness and fight alcohol addiction.
When kept close during bedtime, this crystal helps reduce insomnia and shun nightmares. Known as an all-healer, it also relieves headaches and helps maintain blood-sugar levels.
Amethyst has numerous abilities and is used in different ways by people of varied backgrounds. At home and at work, it promotes calmness, counters stress, and avoids conflict. In psychic work, it is used to bring memories of past lives. Historically, Egyptians use this as a stone of integrity. In North Africa, it is dropped into water as rain-maker. Buddhists use these as prayer beads, while Catholic bishops associate these with purity and wear these as rings.
Amethyst is considered the most valuable variety of the mineral Quartz. Typically light to dark purple in color and sometimes with white lines, this crystal's color is caused by impurities brought upon by its iron and manganese compounds. However, some varieties may slowly fade from excessive exposure to light. For ornamental purposes, this stone is often heat-treated to enhance its color.