|Amethyst is a violet variety of quartz. The name comes from the Koine Greek ἀμέθυστος amethystos from ἀ- a-, “not” and μεθύσκω methysko / μεθύω methyo, “intoxicate”, a reference to the belief that the stone protected its owner from drunkenness. The ancient Greeks wore amethyst and carved drinking vessels from it in the belief that it would prevent intoxication.
Mining: USA, UK, Canada, Brasil, Mexico, Russia, Sri Lanka, Uruguay Africa orientale, Siberia, India.
|Historical and cultural references: Amethyst was used as a gemstone by the ancient Egyptians and was largely employed in antiquity for intaglio engraved gems. The Greeks believed amethyst gems could prevent intoxication, while medieval European soldiers wore amethyst amulets as protection in battle in the belief that amethysts heal people and keep them cool-headed. Beads of amethyst were found in Anglo-Saxon graves in England. Anglican bishops wear an episcopal ring often set with an amethyst, an allusion to the description of the Apostles as “not drunk” at Pentecost in Acts 2:15.|
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