Published on : 27 August 20218 min reading time
Since antiquity, precious gemstones have figured predominantly in many traditions and cultures. There are several types of amethysts that are common in the world today. However, what sets them apart is the quality of the amethysts which is what makes them so valuable. High value amethysts are used to make natural stone jewellery whereas low value amethysts are polished and used as bookends or decorative items. Amethysts are beautiful to own and wear, and they pair well with all sorts of wardrobes. So, what makes them distinctive from other natural stones?
History and Beliefs about Amethysts
For thousands of years, amethysts have been worn and ancient people attributed a plethora of qualities to it. The early people believed that amethysts could help them get victories from battles, and they donned them as amulets when they went for war. Others believed that they would make people become smarter or immune to poisoning or even prevent a person from getting drunk. Indeed, the work amethyst originated from the Greek word, “amethystos” which meant “not intoxicated”. Back then, the Greeks used to believe that if a person was wearing this precious stone, it would prevent them from getting drunk. Interestingly, they even made their drinking cups out of amethysts for this very reason. During the Middle Ages, this gem was highly popular with the church that jewellery intended for the clergymen would be made out of amethysts, especially rings.
Amethysts in World History and Culture
The Greeks were not the only Europeans to use amethysts as sacred stones. Many cultures and societies throughout the entire world were drawn to this mystical, mesmerizing gem’s magic. Some associated it with spirituality, royal lineage, or wine consumption. For instance, Romans believed that amethysts would protect them from drunkenness if they consumed wine using cups that were decorated with amethysts. Egyptians wore natural stone jewellery and amulets made out of amethysts for superstitious reasons such as protection in one’s afterlife. In Britain, the colour purple signified power, royalty and wealth. The crowns of members of the British royalty were adorned with radiant amethysts. Russians decorated the crowns and jewellery of their royalty with amethysts aplenty. A good example is Catherine the Great who adored the purple natural stone and required the gem to be used in all her personal articles.
Catholic bishops wore jewellery made of amethysts to protect them themselves from unholy effects associated with being drunk. These holy men wore rings made of the precious stone on a daily basis. Tibetan Buddhists regularly associated amethysts’ spiritual qualities with Buddha. During their meditation practices, they would use beads made of amethysts. In Christianity, the deep purple colour of amethysts is believed to represent the agony of Christ during the crucifixion. Jews regarded amethysts as “dream stones”. They believed that these semi-precious minerals caused powerful dreams to a person that wore them. In addition, amethysts were also used to represent one of the 12 great tribes of Israel. Amethysts adorned the breastplate of their high priest, Aaron.
Sources of Amethysts
Have you ever wondered where amethysts come from? They are probably nearer than you realized. Amethysts are found deposited in deep rock cavities and they are mined in caves across the four corners of the globe. Brazil is the top producer of amethysts, which Uruguay closely following. After their massive discovery in the 19th century in Brazil, amethysts have become more accessible and more affordable. Amethysts from South American nations are normally bigger than varieties from other countries. Fascinatingly, some of them are so huge that you would stand in one of the geodes. Such geodes are obtained from mines and volcanic deposits.
When it comes to quality, Russian amethysts are popular for their exquisite quality which is considered to be the best. The Russian royalty would seek the semi-precious stone due to its pristine appearance and value.
In Africa, the produced amethysts produced are smaller but have a more intense and deeper purple colour. Zambia is known for producing amethysts of the highest quality in the world. The amethysts harvested from Zambia have the most coveted of amethysts colours. Similarly, Australia is also known to produce highly saturated amethysts. However, amethysts from Mexico are much paler.
In the United States, there are numerous prized mining areas in South Carolina and Arizona. Often, tourists visit these locales and pay a charge to “mine” these precious natural stones. When it comes to acquiring these beautiful gems, their accessibility makes them even more appealing.
Healing Benefits Associated with the Use of Amethysts
Amethysts have a wide array of healing benefits. They include:
- Power to heal. Amethysts are believed to protect an individual from negative energy. They are also used to relieve stress and anxiety disorders.
- Protection abilities. Many societies across the world used and still use amethysts to protect themselves from bad spirits or in dangerous situations. They also protected people from drunkenness.
- Control of dreams. If you want to have control of the dreams you experience or establish a successful schedule of sleep, sleeping with amethysts under your pillow will hugely help.
- Purity and cleansing. To cleanse your environment from toxic energy, simply place your semi-precious gem on the windowsill where the sun shines. To achieve the full cleansing energy, do this on a daily basis.
- Spirituality. Just as holy men in ancient times used amethysts, these gems can be used for the same reason in the world today. Those who practice the art of healing by the use of crystals believe that amethysts are sensitive enough that one can use them to tap into the afterlife’s spiritual energy.
- Maintenance of peace. It is believed that when one meditates using amethysts, they can summon the highest levels of balance and self-awareness.
- Mysticism. People who work using their intuition that use these precious minerals in their works. It is believed that amethysts can assist one to elevate their work with intuition.
Reasons Why You Should Wear Amethysts
If the sheer beauty of amethysts is not enough to induce you to want one or two of its jewellery, then here are other reasons why you should wear amethysts:
- Easy to obtain. In ancient times, it was hard to find these precious gems. However, thanks to the Brazilian richness in these stones, amethysts can be purchased easily throughout the world.
- Affordability. In the current market, there are various types of amethysts each with its own price and uniqueness. This means that there is always something beautiful that fits everyone’s budget.
- Uniqueness. Amethysts are easily recognizable. However, their colour selection is unrivalled. The variety of their colours is stunning and range from a midnight plum to pale lavender.
Amethysts birthstone is attributed to a specific birth month that has significant historical and unique meaning. The birthstones’ status can be traced back to ancient periods where different cultures believed in the subtle energies of every crystal, for instance, prosperity, protection, luck and good health. Every month was attributed to a specific jewel. However, there were months that were associated with more than one natural stone. Colour was the fundamental aspect that distinguished months. For example, January birthstone came in rainbow colours such as garnet, green and fiery orange colour. The amethysts of January represented friendship and trust. February was linked to a variety of quartz which had a lighter lilac hue, red and a spectacular purple that blended deep violet. Ancient Greeks believed that if a person wore the February gemstones, it would protect them from insobriety and helped them to have a balanced mindset.
How to Take Care of Amethysts
When a person invests in a stunning piece made of the semi-precious stone, they will expect it to stand the test of time. The good thing about amethysts is that maintaining them is a considerably easy process.
The best way of caring for them is the use of soap and lukewarm water. This is a combination that has been tried and tested and proved to be effective. Another safe option to cleanse amethysts with is the use of an ultrasonic solution. Note that acidity and extreme temperatures can cause damages to amethysts or discolour them. Over time, when you keep caring and maintaining your jewellery properly, they will serve you for a lifetime.