Amethyst is a violet variety of quartz. The name comes from the Greek, a reference to the belief that the stone protected its owner from Drunkenness. The ancient Greek wore amethyst and carved drinking vessels from it in the belief that it would prevent intoxication.
Amethyst has been used in personal adornment for over 2000 years. It is the birthstone of February and an important New Age gem. Amethyst is used to produce faceted stones, cabochons, beads, tumbled stones, and many other items for jewelry and ornamental use.
Amethyst has a Mohs hardness of 7 and does not break by cleavage. It is a gem that is durable enough for use in rings, earrings, pendants, bracelets and other types of jewelry. Enormous deposits of amethyst in South America and Africa provide enough material to keep amethyst’s price low enough that most people can easily afford it.