Amethyst is a stunning violet form of quartz ranging in colour intensity from pale lilac to intense, almost-black purple. A semi-precious stone, large deposits have been found in recent years bringing the price of the gem down, although the highest quality specimens still command great sums.
The traditional birthstone for February, Amethyst has been used since the ancient times and has long been considered to have healing and restorative properties, assisting in clarity of thought and the attainment of wisdom. The name ‘Amethyst’ itself can be translated from the Greek as “not toxicated”, owing to the belief that the stone would prevent drunkenness and help to maintain a clear head. For this reason it was often used to create goblets.
Amethyst is known as the Bishop’s Stone and is still worn today by Catholic bishops, symbolising piety, sincerity and spiritual wisdom. It is considered by crystal healers to be a useful aid for headaches, and for opening the spiritual and psychic centres.