There are numerous studies showing that the amethyst gemstone's beautiful violet color is the result of the intermingling of aluminum, manganese and ferric iron.
This durable variety of quartz is primarily found within volcanic rock in regions spanning Uruguay, Brazil, South Korea, and Sri Lanka.
The stone's purported healing properties have been revered for centuries with its ability to soothe drunkenness being the most well known. In fact, according to Greek legend a beautiful nymph shared the gemstone's moniker.
After requesting Goddess Diana's protection from the amorous attention of Dionysus, the God of Wine, and Intoxication, Diana granted the nymph's request by transforming her into a gemstone. In turn, Dionysus granted the stone its color and the power to fend off wine's incapacitating effects.
Aside from this dramatic property, amethyst is also believed to calm stress reactions, signal danger, and enhance mental or psychic capacities. The stone has been a staple in rosary beads, and bishop rings of the Episcopal Church, as well as the stone of choice for St. Valentine.
In accordance with the theme of Valentine's, during medieval times a presentation of a heart-shaped amethyst by a woman to a knight or her husband signaled great happiness for the couple.
One of the world's largest amethyst geodes, the Empress of Uruguay, is located in Australia's Crystal Caves. It stands an alarming eleven feet tall and is filled with magnificent, deep violet crystals.
Photo 1: Amethyst crystal