Amethyst is a violet variety of quartz often used in jewelry. The name comes from the Ancient Greek meaning “not intoxicated”, a reference to the belief that the stone protected its owner from drunkenness. The ancient Greeks and Romans wore amethyst and made drinking vessels of it in the belief that it would prevent intoxication. It is one of several forms of quartz. Amethyst is a semiprecious stone and is the traditional birthstone for February.
Amethyst is a purple variety of quartz and owes its violet color to irradiation, iron impurities, and the presence of trace elements, which result in complex crystal lattice substitutions. The hardness of the mineral is the same as quartz (7 or lower), thus it is suitable for use in jewelry.
Hue and tone
Amethyst occurs in primary hues from a light pinkish violet to a deep purple. Amethyst may exhibit one or both secondary hues, red and blue. The best varieties of Amethysts can be found in Siberia, Sri Lanka, Brazil and the far East. The ideal grade is called “Deep Siberian” and has a primary purple hue. Green quartz is sometimes incorrectly called green amethyst, which is a misnomer and not an appropriate name for the material, the proper terminology being Prasiolite. Other names for green quartz are vermarine