Amethyst is considered the most beautiful and valuable form of quartz. The word Amethyst stems from a Greek word meaning "without drunkenness", for in ancient times it was believed tat anyone carrying or wearing this stone could not become intoxicated. Perhaps the Greeks were aware of the soothing effect of its rich, purple color for they believed it had the ability t help control the temperament.
Amethyst is often referred to as the "Bishop's Stone" because a ring set with this gem is still worn today by the Bishops of the Catholic Church, symbolizing their moral victory over worldly pleasures.
Quartz is found in abundance from every corner of the earth. In its purest form, quart is colorless, but is most prized for its purple variety- amethyst.
Purple has long been considered a royal color, so it is not surprising that amethyst has been so much in demand throughout history. Fine amethysts are featured in the British Crown Jewels and were also a favorite of Catherine the Great and Egyptian royalty. Great thinkers like Leonardo da Vinci believed that amethyst could dissipate evil thoughts and quicken the intelligence.
Amethyst, the traditional birthstone for the month of February, is available in small and large sizes, although as with all gemstones, very large sizes in rich, deep colors have always been rare. Designers celebrate amethyst as the ideal choice for jewelry because of its regal color, variety of sizes and shapes, affordability and wide tonal range from light to dark purple.
Brazil is the primary source of amethyst, and Zambia is a significant source as well.
Darker hues of amethyst are rarely enhanced to perfect their color, although some varieties do respond well to heat enhancement.