Table of Contents
- What is Amethyst?
- Amethyst’s History
- Amethyst Varieties
- Amethyst’s Uses and Purposes
- Science-Backed Benefits of Amethyst
- Other Benefits of Amethyst
- How to Use Amethyst in your Daily Life
What is Amethyst?
When you think of amethyst, you think of a gorgeous, brilliant, purple stone; even though gems such as sapphire may have a purplish hue, amethyst is the epitome of a semi-precious purple gemstone of the mineral quartz.
The word amethyst is derived from the Greek word amethystos which means ‘not drunken,’ which is why in ancient times, the gem was used to ward off intoxication (1).
It is composed of silicon dioxide, and its purple color is produced by the impurities of iron and manganese compounds present in the gem.
The purple hue is also created by exposure to natural radiation, but prolonged exposure can cause the color to fade as well (2).
Amethyst has been widely used since ancient times for a variety of purposes.
The gem is either faceted into fine stones to be incorporated into jewelry, or it is polished and left in its natural form.
Amethyst displays color zoning, which means that the angular sides of the stone are darker than the flatter sides of the stone (3).
So the gem consists of gradual color variation from light to dark, as it goes toward the edges of the polished stone.
The purplish hue of the gem also generally varies from a light lilac to a deep royal purple (4).
Amethyst ranks at 7 on the MOHS hardness scale, and it has a specific gravity of 2.66 (5).
It is the birthstone for the month of February, and a gemstone significant for the 6th and 17th marriage anniversary (6).
Amethyst is found in different types of sedimentary, igneous, and metamorphic rocks.
The process in which amethyst forms begins with the creation of crystals in which traces of iron are incorporated into the quartz.
The gamma radiation emitted from the host rock irradiates the iron of the crystal during crystallization, giving the gem a purplish hue.
Thus amethyst is formed.
Amethyst isn’t just used for jewelry making but is also applied to elevate spiritual energy, and for the benefit of the mind and body.
Amethyst is a meditative and calming stone that soothes our consciousness to promote peace and balance in the body.
As the stone promotes tranquility in the mind, it is mostly used to soothe intoxicated, depressed, stressed, and grieving people.
Its positive energy alleviates the mind of any external pressures and allows both the mind and body to live peacefully and serenely.
The spiritual, mental, and physical benefits of amethyst are further elaborated below.
There is an extensive history of Amethyst usage in many cultures of the world, as it is claimed to have been discovered in 3000 BCE.
Amethyst jewelry dates back to as early as 2000 BCE (8).
Until the 19th century, Amethyst was considered as valuable as rubies and emeralds, but it is still a popular gemstone today (9).
One of the earliest and most prominent occurrences of Amethyst being used in jewelry is by St. Valentine in the 3rd Century (10).
The patron of romance wore an Amethyst ring carved with the image of Cupid.
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The Greeks believed that Amethyst, due to its wine-like color, was associated with Bacchus, the God of Wine (11).
This myth was mentioned in the Renaissance period when French poet Remy Belleau wrote a poem in 1576 about beliefs about gemstones (12).
The lore tells of Amethyst, a beautiful maiden who was returning from her worship at the Temple of Diana.
Amethyst crossed the path of an irritable Bacchus who had undergone some turmoil and had vowed to take it out on the next person that crossed his path.
When Bacchus saw the maiden, he set his two tigers after her.
Diana, who saw that misfortune, turned the girl into a crystal to prevent a horrible death.
Bacchus poured his goblet of wine on the crystal in disdain, causing the crystal to turn purple.
That is also why the Greeks say that if you kept a piece of Amethyst in your mouth, you would be able to drink as much as you could without getting drunk.
The Greeks and Romans believed that drinking from a goblet studded with Amethysts would prevent intoxication, and keeping the stone on the navel would protect one from overindulgence.
The Greeks and Romans also believed that the wearer of Amethyst would remain clear-headed and quick-witted in business dealings (12).
Amethyst was furthermore one of the twelve jewels in the breastplate of the High Priest that represented the tribes of Israel, as stated in the Old Testament.
In the book of Revelation, it is mentioned that Amethyst is one of the twelve stones that will create the foundation of the wall of New Jerusalem (14).
Devotees of Christ also believed that Amethyst had the power to alleviate pain and heal one’s spirit.
They associated the stone with purity of spirit, and the purplish hues with the purifying effects of suffering and with the suffering of Christ.
So they began to use Amethyst for healing as well.
People in ancient times also associated the deep purple of Amethyst with a calming presence and used it to soothe those with horrible nightmares.
They believed that the stone had the ability to keep the mind flowing freely between the mental and metaphysical dimensions.
Travelers used the stone to protect themselves from dangerous situations, and soldiers used it to keep a clear head during battle.
The stone has also been believed to protect against black magic and dark spirits.
The ancient Egyptians incorporated Amethyst into protective amulets to protect themselves against mental and physical harm.
They created elaborate and breathtaking jewelry to adorn the regal families with.
It is also believed that bishops wore Amethyst rings to protect themselves from divine intoxication and that when others kissed the ring, it protected them from that same intoxication.
So, as we can see, Amethyst has been widely used throughout the years for many different purposes.
It has the ability to heal the body and calm the mind.
Its exuberant beauty and breathtaking color also make the gem excellent to incorporate into ornamental jewelry.
Different varieties of Amethyst are found throughout the world, but it mostly occurs in parts of Brazil and Uruguay.
This form of quartz is also found in the U.S., Zambia, and even India.
Although manganese is responsible for the purplish hue in the stone, iron impurities and the environment in which it is formed also cause color variations.
Here is a list of the different types of Amethyst found all over the world:
Ametrine is a stone that consists of the harmonious blend of Amethyst and Citrine.
The colors of the stone are partially purple and partially yellowish orange, which are sharply divided within the gem.
This particular stone is a great meditating and healing stone which helps promote creativity as well as rationality.
Considered one of the most distinctive and beautiful Amethysts in the world, the Brandberg crystals come from Brandberg Mountain, which is located in Northwest Namibia, South Africa.
Often carrying otherworldly features such as lepidocrocite flecks (iron oxides) and anhydrous (water bubbles), this type of Amethyst is believed to be beneficial to those who seek to improve themselves.
A combination of Amethyst and white quartz, the Chevron Amethyst mixes these two in a V-striped pattern.
Combining the stress-relieving qualities of Amethyst and enhancing qualities of the quartz, the Chevron Amethyst helps unveil the hidden meanings in life.
It improves physical vision and understanding and works amazingly with the third eye.
African Amethyst originates from Africa and is typically of a darker and deeper purple.
The Amethyst Quartz consists of Amethyst and milky quartz and is typically used in bead jewelry.
The stone is purple on top and it gradually fades to clear towards the bottom.
Bolivian Amethyst is only found in Bolivia.
Brazil is the leading Amethyst producer of the world.
Most of the Amethysts in Brazil are mined in the Rio Grande do Sul and Maraba.
Usually, Brazilian Amethysts are formed into citrine due to the highly heated environment that they are found in (15).
Siberian Amethysts are found in Russia and are of a deep purple color.
These Amethysts are the darkest in the world.
Rutilated Amethysts are one of the rarest forms of Amethysts in the world.
This variety of Amethyst contains Goethite.
Goethite is a brownish-colored iron hydroxide mineral that is used to find spiritual meaning.
Lavender Amethyst is a pale purple-colored amethyst.
Vera Cruz Amethyst
The Vera Cruz Amethyst, found in Veracruz, Mexico is one of the most widely known and popular Amethysts in the world.
It is a tall, prismatic crystal that grows in volcanic rocks.
Amethyst’s Uses and Purposes
Since Amethysts’ purple color ranges from royal violet to light lilac, they are associated with calm.
The color Purple combines the stability of blue and the energy of red so, in a sense, the color exudes the energy that helps stabilize one’s mind and body.
The Amethyst benefits the spiritual mind, psyche, spirit, body, and mind of a person.
The uses and purposes of Amethyst are further elaborated below.
Calm the Mind
The stone has been used to calm the anxious, depressed, and violent mind.
It helps one purify one’s thoughts to establish inner peace.
The sedative energy of the stone helps bring contentment, and a feeling of fulfillment and peacefulness, to a person.
This helps establish emotional stability and helps a person achieve inner tranquility.
It connects the spiritual and physical planes to curb impatience and to achieve balance.
Bring Clarity to the Conscience
Amethyst has always been known as a decision-making stone.
As the stone emits a positive and sedative energy, it wards off negative energy that can cloud one’s conscience.
So, the stone can help clear one’s mind and adjust one’s conscience to promote mental well-being and clarity.
As stated in many Greek myths, it is said that those who drink from a cup adorned with Amethyst or those who keep a piece of the stone in their mouth are immune from intoxication.
That means that they can overindulge in alcohol without the effects of the alcohol consuming them.
The stone also helps prevent a person from overindulging in drugs, smoking, and other highly destructive compulsive behavior.
This stone is also used by those who have troubles controlling their excessive spending.
As a Meditating Crystal in Crystal Therapy
Usually, crystal quartz is used in crystal therapy and gem healing.
Amethyst is one of the crystals from the quartz family that is used to create a state of enhanced awareness and allow one to connect with one’s spirituality.
It acts as a bridge to connect a person to the mental and spiritual planes of the world.
Crystals and gems have been used to assist meditation for centuries.
It is believed that crystals help people harness the spiritual world and experience an out-of-body dimension.
They allow one’s mind to enter the spiritual dimension through a telepathic connection as they enhance one’s spiritual intuition.
The Amethyst needs to be placed in front of the meditating person or three Amethysts need to be placed at three points around the person to form an equilateral triangle (16).
A Component of Feng Shui
In the ancient Asian art of Feng Shui, large Amethyst geodes and clusters of Amethyst were used to clean rooms and rid the room of negative energy (17).
It is said that Amethyst improves the quality of life and the environment of the room with its presence.
It absorbs the bad vibrations in the room to allow only positive energy to exist.
The Amethyst acts like a magnet that pulls positive chi into the room.
Cleanse the Chakras through Meditation
Meditation helps cleanse one’s chakras. Chakras are each of the spiritual centers of the human body.
There are seven Chakras: Crown Chakra, Brow Chakra, Throat Chakra, Solar Plexus Chakra, Heart Chakra, Sacral Chakra, and Base Chakra.
Each of the chakras can be cleansed using their respective gems or crystals.
To cleanse the Crown Chakra or the mind, Amethyst crystals are used.
The concept of using gems to cleanse the chakras comes from the fact that the positive vibrations of the stones mingle with the chakras to purify them (18).
Science-Backed Benefits of Amethyst
The scientifically-proven benefits of Amethyst as a gemstone are somewhat limited, due to the lack of research.
Amethyst emits a small but detectable amount of magnetic field which produces favorable changes in the body.
Also, when Amethyst is heated, it emits far infrared rays, a type of long-wave radiation.
Far infrared rays (FIR) are one of the two important lights that we receive from the sun.
The amount of FIR in our body constantly fluctuates, and when our body receives a large amount of FIR it is able to cope with physical challenges better.
On the other hand, if the levels of FIR decline, our body is susceptible to external hazards and diseases.
FIR is one of the few rays that do not harm the skin and body when in prolonged exposure.
The benefits of Far Infrared Rays were first discovered by Sir William Herschel in the 19th century (19).
Herschel discovered that colors contained their own level of heat.
He tested red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and violet, and discovered that the levels of heat increased as he moved from red to violet.
Once he found this pattern, Herschel measured the heat of light just above red on the spectrum, thus discovering infrared light.
Now, through his research, many scientists have discovered the use of FIR to rid the body of biotoxins and to improve the overall health of the human body.
The benefits of FIR emitted by Amethyst when heated are given below:
FIR helps the cells in your body regenerate, as it increases the energy levels in the body.
When the body’s energy levels are increased, it is capable of regenerating its cells in a more efficient manner.
Exposure to FIR supports the cells and allows them to regenerate effectively (20).
FIR has been used to rid the body of many metals such as mercury, aluminum, etc.
These toxic substances are encapsulated within the larger water molecules of the body.
So, when the body is exposed to FIR, it causes the water molecules to vibrate and thus helps release the toxins from the body.
Maintains Blood Pressure
A study done by medical researchers in Germany showed that exposure to FIR for an hour helped lower blood pressure levels, as it persistently dilated the peripheral blood vessels.
The rhythm of the heartbeat also adjusted to proper levels, and the viscosity of blood also improved (21).
Promotes Overall Well-being
The FIR emitted from heated Amethyst can help promote your overall well-being, as it helps calm the body to ensure that you are at ease.
This also promotes proper sleep and elevates your mood.
When the mind is rid of negative thoughts, it is able to feel more at ease.
A recent study showed that people who slept with a disc that emitted FIR had an increase in overall satisfaction, compared to those who did not (22).
Supports Wound Healing
FIR has also been shown to increase the rate of healing skin wounds, surgery-related wounds, wounds caused by diabetes, and tears in the skin tissue (23).
Decreases Effects of Diabetes
The effects of diabetes are difficult to combat during later stages.
But a study published in the Journal of Complementary and Alternative Medicine in 2010 linked the usage of FIR to the reduced effects of type-2 diabetes.
Another study also showed that giving diabetic patients 20 minute FIR treatments three times a week over a period of 3 months improved functioning and eased the pain (24).
Other Benefits of Amethyst
In traditional Chinese medicine, Amethyst is prescribed to get rid of pimples, bad stomach pains, and lung illnesses.
Although this is not a widely popular practice, Chinese medicine claims that the gemstone helps detoxify the body, getting rid of any pains and diseases.
Here are some of the other benefits of Amethyst:
Generally, Amethyst has been used to help detoxify and cleanse the body from sickness, and the mind from disturbing thoughts.
Sleeping with an Amethyst stone under your pillow has said to get rid of insomnia and allow you to get a disturbance-free sleep.
Typically, the stone is considered to target the cerebral cortex of the brain to tackle depression, nightmares, anxiety, and mental illnesses.
The entire concept of the stone cleansing one’s mind from thoughts of self-doubt, violence, and anxiety helps promote self-assurance and helps one find inner peace.
When the mind is cleansed of toxic ideas and thoughts, a person is able to live free of the inner demons that attempt to consume them.
It is said that Amethyst purifies one from negative energy, and gets rid of the tendency to overindulge and involve oneself in acts that are harmful.
Although Amethyst is used for meditation to harness positive energy and to clear one’s mind, it also can benefit a person during a time of contemplation.
Having the stone nearby when thinking about important life decisions can help a person to come to a plausible and beneficial conclusion.
This stone rids a person of wanting to overindulge, gets rid of anxiety and disturbing thoughts, sharpens their mentality, and allows them to remain clear-headed and rational when making decisions.
A time of contemplation is vital to make proper decisions, and that time can only be successfully used if an external substance that promotes positive energy helps support it.
Success and the powers of Amethyst are closely related to the idea that Amethyst helps a person make right decisions by keeping them clear-headed and rational.
When one makes a decision without being distracted by other thoughts, they can think of the choice that will benefit them the most.
Thus, they can be more successful.
As mentioned above, businessmen used Amethysts to make business deals and those who did become successful.
Soldiers who carried the stone with them into battle triumphed over those who didn’t.
Attraction of Goodness
The energy and the aura of an Amethyst stone is a positive one.
Even though opposites attract, the positive and good energy of the stone can be used to attract good people.
Men used to use the stone to attract good women who would be suitable for marriage.
The stone also enables pure, true, and good love, which means that it can help strengthen the bond and commitment between two people in a relationship.
How to Use Amethyst in your Daily Life
Incorporating Amethyst into your daily life can help improve your mental and physical being.
Although you do not need to get regular crystal therapy or wear a necklace of Amethyst, there are many ways to add Amethyst to your daily life.
Here is how you can do so:
Infuse the Crystal in Drinking Water
The Greeks kept Amethyst in their mouth to prevent intoxication, but you can try a simpler method by adding the crystal to your water.
This will help purify and detoxify your body.
Add it to your Bath
In ancient times, people used to put their saliva on the Amethyst and rub it on pimples to get rid of them.
Although that might be unsanitary, you can try putting the crystals in your bath to get rid of any skin irritations.
As mentioned above, Amethyst can be used while meditating.
Just keep the crystal next to you or three in a triangle to enhance your meditation.
Keep One in your Home
The simplest way to use Amethyst in your daily life is to use it as interior decoration in Feng Shui.
This allows the presence of the crystal to rejuvenate your home without having it be a hassle to incorporate into the surroundings.
Using the Amethyst crystal for its many purposes doesn’t have any direct side effects.
But since heating Amethyst emits FIR, you might want to take some precautionary measures.
Here are some precautions that you should take while using a heated Amethyst crystal.
If you Have Surgical Implants
Surgical implants usually have the capacity to reflect FIRs so it is better if you stay away from heated Amethyst crystals if you do have any surgical implants.
If you are Pregnant
Pregnancy is a sensitive time for both the mother and the fetus.
Even though heated Amethyst crystals do not emit a large amount of FIR, excessive exposure to FIR has been known to cause birth defects.
It is therefore advisable to stay away from heated Amethyst.
If you Have a Hemorrhage
Any time of external heat exposure can cause vasodilatation and cause bleeding of the hemorrhage.
Since FIR produces a small amount of heat, it is better not to take a risk by using Amethyst.
Amethyst has been used to decorate rings, necklaces, crowns, scepters, and other ornamental jewelry.
Some of the most famous Amethyst jewelry includes the Tiffany Amethyst, the Morris Amethyst Brooch, the Duchess of Windsor Necklace, Queen Sylvi’s Tiara, Delhi’s Sapphire, and one of the oldest pieces of Amethyst jewelry known, the Egyptian Amethyst Necklace (25).
For centuries, British royalty has been known to adorn themselves with this jewel as well.
The historical significance of the stone is also very prominent as it is mentioned in the books of many religions and cultures.
The Greeks, a civilization that has profoundly contributed to the field of mathematics, science, and medicine, truly believed in the power of the stone, and they used it to elevate their way of living and thinking.
The Romans, a great civilization, also believed in the power of the stone.
Amethyst is a stone that is not commonly known to be used for purposes other than ornamental jewelry.
But the spiritual and health benefits of Amethyst are widely esteemed and have been throughout the years.
The mental and physical healing powers of Amethyst, as well as its divine energy, have been firmly believed by ancient cultures to be beneficial to the mind, body, and soul of a person.
Although the value of Amethyst has been lessened from when it was considered to be almost as precious as rubies and diamonds, it is still a stone that holds tremendous beauty.
The idea of a gemstone being used to heal the spirit, mind, soul, body, and psyche of a person might seem fictitious and only rooted in myth, but the ancient people of Greece and other civilizations firmly believed that Amethyst had mystical healing powers.
Although modern medicine claims the use of gemstones for physical healing to be pseudoscience, this practice is supported by the beliefs of Hinduism and Buddhism.
The concept of life energy and spirituality in chakras says that gemstones such as Amethyst connect the physical body to the spiritual world to relieve a person of their mundane troubles (26).
But the power of Amethyst is evident, and it is up to each person to choose to allow that power to transform their lives.
Even though it is closely tied to spirituality, mentality, the psyche, and the mind, its powers are real and true.