Amethyst is the birthstone of Aquarius i.e. Water Bearer. The time ranges from January 20 - February 18. Amethyst is also an anniversary gemstone for the 4th and 6th year of marriage.
Origin of Amethyst
The name Amethyst comes from the Greek word ‘amethystos’ meaning not drunken. This was maybe due to a belief that amethyst would ward off the effects of alcohol, but most likely, the Greeks were referring to the almost wine-like colour of some stones that they may have encountered.
Appearance of Amethyst
Amethyst can occur as long prismatic crystals that have a six-sided pyramid at either end or can form as druzes that are crystalline crusts that only show the pointed terminations. As a mineral specimen, amethyst is popular for its colour and nice crystal shapes that produce a handsome, purple, sparkling cluster.
Colour of Amethyst
Amethyst is colourless in its purest form that is found in abundance. The finest quality Amethyst is medium-to-medium dark in tone, vivid in intensity and purple, reddish purple to bluish purple in hue. Amethyst is related to citrine, which is the yellow form of quartz, and also to rock crystal which is the colourless variety. Heating removes the colour from amethyst or changes it to the yellow of citrine. Most commercial citrine is made in this manner.
Varieties of Amethyst
Amethyst is a rare form of quartz, which is popular around the world. Oriental amethyst, or purple sapphire, is not quartz but a variety of corundum, a much harder and rarer stone. Amethyst often becomes paler if kept out in the sun. Amethyst should be cleaned in ultrasonic jewellery cleaner or with warm, soapy water and a soft bristle brush. These should always be kept away from strong chemicals and sudden temperature changes.
Benefits of Amethyst
Amethyst is known to bestow stability, strength and peace, to relive stress and to calm passion, emotional violence and anger. It is a powerful healing gem having been used in treating disorders of the nervous system, digestive tract, heart, stomach, skin and teeth. It has also been helpful in the treatment of blood disease, burns and scalds, colour blindness, infections and oedema. An amethyst under the pillow can aid sleeplessness, placed on the centre of the forehead can relieve the pain of headaches and other disorders.