Thursday, April 19, 2007


Amethyst was first featured in the third issue of ORE FEATURES, on November 27, 1999. In celebration of Love and Valentine's Day, I thought you'd enjoy revisiting this royal crystal.

Amethyst is a member of the crystal quartz or silica group, the most common mineral on our planet. Its crystal structure consists of corkscrewing chains of silicon tetrahedrons that often terminate in a six sided pyramid. The quartz’s corkscrew can be either left handed or right handed and in some very rare instances, it will turn both ways.

Amethyst was formed under a variety of conditions. In Brazil and Uruguay it formed in the gas cavities of lava flows (geodes). Agate geodes containing Amethyst can reach up to five feet in length and four feet wide.

In Canada, Russia and the US, Amethyst formed in pegmatites or in metamorphic rocks. In fact each locale where Amethyst is found, seems to produce a slightly different crystal. In Thunder Bay Canada, Port Arthur Amethyst forms in a flat hexagon with alternating purple and clear Quartz sections. In Vera Cruz Mexico Amethyst forms over clear Quartz phantoms, often in double terminations. Because of these wide ranging differences, I’ve included a short index of locations and geological properties at the end.

The history of Amethyst is as ancient and dusty as the burial crypts of early Egypt and Babylon. Archeologists have recovered documents that have been sealed and the dead adorned with Amethyst.

Amethyst comes from the Greek word amethusos, which means not drunk. The mythical origins of the crystal also come from the Greeks. According to their myth, a foolish mortal angered Bacchus (the god of intoxication) with an insult. Bacchus, bent on revenge, let his tigers loose to viciously devour the next human walking by.

The human turned out to be a beautiful maiden named Amethyst. She was on her way to the temple to pay tribute to Diana. Diana, taking pity on the young girl turned her into a pure crystal statue so that the tigers claws would not mar her beauty. Bacchus was so touched and remorseful at the sight of this statue that he wept tears of wine, turning the crystal purple.

There is a Native American legend surrounding Thunder Bay's Amethyst. Chief Nanibijou showed man the secret location of Mother's riches. He showed man where Silver, Gold, precious crystals and gems could be found. The punishment for his indiscretion is to lay forever, a sleeping giant in the middle of the bay.

Early in Amethyst's history, its purple color and rarity made it an instant favorite among monarchs. At one time, quality Amethyst were more valuable than Diamonds. The oldest of England’s crown jewels is a cut Amethyst worn by Edward the Confessor. Catherine the Great treasured it as her favorite gem.

Catholics believe Amethyst represents piety and celibacy and has long been the stone of choice for Popes, Cardinals and Bishops. Crusaders attached them to their rosaries and wore the crystal into battle for protection.

This crystal has always been associated with drinking, especially wine. Goblets of Amethyst were said to prevent the drinker from being overwhelmed by the drink’s spirit. Its very name suggests the power of Amethyst to protect you from the influence of over indulgence. Today those trying to rise above addictions, especially substance addiction, use the healing powers of Amethyst as an aid. The stone is equally powerful in helping you overcome emotional addictions as well. Our dependencies can take many forms, Amethyst will assist you in conquering destructive behaviours.

Associated with the Crown Chakra, Amethyst is an excellent meditation crystal and is perfect for promoting and strengthening your psychic ability. Some keep Amethyst with their Tarot Cards or other divining tools. Sleeping with this crystal can keep away nightmares, promote a deeper healing sleep and often bring prophetic dreams.

Along with it’s psychic powers this crystal also imparts the wisdom to use this new knowledge in correct ways.

It has a reputation as a highly protective stone. Amethyst can guard against thieves, keep travelers safe, prevent harm and sickness, protect from evil and banish sorrow.

Amethyst has a strong reputation for aiding with love energies. Use the crystal to attract true love from a good person. A woman will present the stone to her lover to protect their love from fading or to magnify her beauty in their eyes. A man presents this crystal to his lover to ensure that their love is constant and faithful.

Amethyst is a very important tool for anyone working with gem and crystals. Its depth of spiritual and healing qualities are rarely found in any other stone.

I keep one for dreaming and one for my migraine headaches. They are very useful for relieving tension and pain. Amethyst can aid in respiration and reduce swelling from injuries. It has been used to clear up blemishes and soften rough skin.

Amethyst can help strengthen the skeletal structure to improve posture. It will promote healing on a cellular level, aid the digestive tract and help with stomach and heart disorders. You can use an Amethyst to help with insomnia, or a more restful sleep so that you awaken, energized for a new day.

Amethyst Index
Africa - Large, unattractive crystals that are cut and polished into some highly prized gemstones
Brazil - Most formed in volcanic vugs or gas bubbles (geodes); some vugs form from trees that were engulfed in the flow then withered away; light to medium violet, with color only showing in the tops of the crystals
Canada - Clusters grew in druzy crusts along the fissures of ancient metamorphic rocks; some contain a unique red hematite inclusion
Thunder Bay Canada - Port Arthur Amethyst, a natural hexagon with alternating sections of Quartz and Amethyst, believed to be caused by numerous crystals twinning in planes
Germany - found with colorful agates that formed in druzy crusts
Italy - similar to the crystals found in Guerrero and Vera Cruz (Mexico) with parallel growth clusters and evenly distributed color
Guerrero - dark purple prismatic crystals radiating from a common attachment point, often with phantoms and double terminated
Vera Cruz - similar to Guerrero crystals, except for their color - the interior is a pale purple with a clear quartz interior, some of the most valuable Amethyst in the world
Russia - a clear, dark variety used primarily for fine cut gemstones - uncut clusters are rarely available on the market
United States - mostly found in druzy clusters filling the fractures of metamorphic rocks or in pegmatites, ranging in color from a bluish/violet to a brownish purple
(Colorado) - these druzes formed in the fissures of sandstone, often on top of a green fluorite crust, crystals are dark and small
Bolivia - The home of Ametrine, first found in the early 1970's, this unique zoned crystal is part Amethyst and part Citrine. Because of mining restrictions in the area where this unusual crystal is found, the stone has only been available for about the last 20 years.

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