There is an ancient Roman myth about a young and chaste woman named Amethyst. One day, as she was on her way to the temple of Diana, a drunken, lustful Bacchus, who was the Roman god of wine, pursued her. The young woman cried out to Diana for help, and the goddess turned her into a beautiful clear crystal. When Bacchus realized what he had done, he felt great remorse and in an act of contrition, poured his goblet of wine over the crystal, staining it a rich, deep purple.There are many variations of this myth, and they all show our fascination throughout history for this lovely gem.
Amethyst comes from the Greek ” ametusthos” which means not intoxicated. It was believed that if you drank wine from an amethyst goblet, you would not become drunk! Try that at the next office party!
Amethyst is also the stone of St. Valentine, which makes it the perfect stone to present to your beloved. I can’t think of a better reason to make some jewellery, unless it’s for me!
Amethyst is also the stone for the crown chakra and meditating with an amethyst crystal helps us to connect to the Divine, both within and without. Try sleeping with an amethyst beside your bed for a deep restful sleep. This is truly an all-purpose stone for healing.
Amethyst is quartz with the addition of manganese and iron to give it its beautiful purple colour which ranges from palest lilac to deep, velvety violet. It ranks at 7 to 7.5 on the Mohs scale, which means it is very durable for all kinds of jewelry. Amethyst is also very reasonably priced, which makes it even more attractive.
The paler varieties look lovely with silver, either antiqued or not. I made a necklace for myself many years ago with a strand of luscious, faceted beads. I was going to finish it off, when I found an old Indian silver pendant with Ganesha and Lakshmi on it, and knew instantly it would be perfect. It is still one of my favourite necklaces to this day.
Cabochon amethysts look wonderful in settings with an open back to show off the colour of the stone. Deeper-coloured stones look very regal with gold and have a very rich, luxurious feel.
And just for something different, try amethyst with copper. I made a necklace and earring set using amethyst, copper and handmade lampwork beads. It’s an unusual, but striking combination.
So, have some wine and get busy with amethyst! (On second thought, maybe have the wine after!)