For over 2,000 years, this beautiful purple quartz, better known as the gemstone called “amethyst,” has been considered a magical gemstone that was used not only for adornment purposes, but also used as an amulet that was said to ward off evil, and worn as a good luck charm that encouraged love and happiness.
Its name comes from the Greek word, "amethystos," which means "non-intoxicating." Centuries ago, it was believed that the amethyst gemstone could combat intoxication, and Greek men would either drop a piece of the stone in their wine cups, or have their cups carved from amethyst thinking it would neutralize the alcohol in the wine and prevent them from becoming intoxicated. (I wonder how many cups of wine it took for them to realize that this probably didn't work?)
The amethyst also has a very long history in religion as well. There are instructions in the Egyptian Book of the Dead that tell of placing a heart-shaped amethyst stone on the body of the deceased to help them pass over peacefully into the afterlife. The Roman Catholic church believed the amethyst symbolized purity, and it would often be set in bishop's rings. Even the Buddhist religion saw the amethyst as something special as it is usually found in their prayer beads.
And in addition to all this, there are many other magical properties associated with the amethyst such as the promotion of happiness, love and peace. It was used to protect its wearer and give them courage in times of need. And it is also believed that it can increase psychic visions, and banish bad dreams.
This beautiful gemstone with a long rich history is also the birthstone of the month of February, and the gemstone gift of choice for those celebrating their sixteenth wedding anniversary. And for those who want to benefit the most from the magical properties of amethyst, it is recommended that you wear it set in a sterling silver ring on the the middle finger on the right hand.