Published May 2014  •  Updated October 2022  •  Read Time: 10 minutes
Amethyst is a gorgeous gem that has been celebrated since time immortal.  It is the purple variety of Quartz and can be found in various locations around the world.  For Europeans, Amethyst was originally a rare precious gemstone on par with Diamond, Ruby, Sapphire and Emerald.  The discovery of massive Amethyst deposits in Brazil dramatically shifted the available supply and Amethyst is now considered semi-precious.  Amethyst has one of the longest verifiable histories as a healing crystal.  Today, it is considered one of the most powerful and essential crystal for peace, sobriety, and wisdom.

Amethyst Gem

Amethyst Meaning

Spiritual Healing Properties

Amethyst is a highly mystical stone that encourages spirituality and spiritual insights. It heightens our sense of justice and encourages us to act from a place of deep integrity. Amethyst makes an extremely good meditation stone and can help to quiet the mind from distractions. It increases intuition and enhances psychic gifts, while ensuring that we remain logical and grounded.

Metaphysical Properties Amethyst
Chakra Third Eye and Crown
Element Wind
Numerology 3
Zodiac Virgo, Capricorn, Aquarius and Pisces

Emotional Healing Properties

Amethyst provides the gift of emotional grace, helping us to balance out emotional highs and lows and stay steady and serene. It encourages us to abstain from overindulgence in all forms, including emotional indulgence. In particular, Amethyst helps us to stop wallowing in negative energies of our own making, especially ‘victim mentality.’ Amethyst helps us to identify the root causes behind behaviors and emotional patterns, and to have the courage to make the necessary changes. Amethyst is an excellent stone to have during times of grief and sadness, enabling us to come to terms with loss. Above all, Amethyst charges us to accept our Personal Power and live from a place of strength and peace.

Mental Healing Properties

Amethyst encourages clarity, focus, and awareness. It helps us to take responsibility for our own actions and encourages us to overcome addictive behavior and mental blocks. Amethyst is useful to have when debating, since it couples spiritual insights and inspiration with intellectual reasoning and logic. It continually reveals that the most “sensible” solution is also the one that serves the Highest Good for all.

Physical Healing Properties

Amethyst is recommended when we are ready to make serious changes that affect our physical and mental health. It has been considered a stone for sobriety for thousands of years, making it a top choice for anyone going to rehab as well as for life after rehab. Amethyst helps us remember why we choose to be sober and why it’s not worth it to fall back into old habits. Amethyst is also recommended for insomniacs. It helps us to create a soothing environment and to follow smart bedtime rituals to help our body relax. Likewise, it reminds us to reduce stress and actively deal with problems in the daytime hours, so that we can rest at night. If the insomnia persists, Amethyst encourages us to speak to experts, be open to new ideas, and to be mentally kinder to ourselves in general. Amethyst is also an excellent talisman to help us relax and stay calm when we are experiencing physical pain or discomfort in the head, such as headaches and migraines or tinnitus, vertigo and other ear problems.

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Amethyst Mineralogy

Where does Amethyst come from?

Amethyst is the most valuable variety of Quartz.  It is found Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, France, India, Madagascar, Mexico, Namibia, Russia, South Africa, Uruguay, United States, and Zambia.

Mining and Treatments

Quartz is found all over the world and may be a primary or secondary mineral in a mining operation.  In most cases, Amethyst is the only variety that is valuable enough to justify a mine devoted to its extraction.  Other quartz varieties are typically mined in tandem with other precious metals and minerals, but by themselves wouldn’t be valuable enough to justify the work.  For example, many Gold mines also extract a sizeable amount of Clear Quartz.  Likewise, an Amethyst mine may be focused on the purple gem, but will also produce Citrine and Smoky Quartz.  Generally, the Quartz is found in its primary location still associated with its igneous rock matrix.

Amethyst Placeholder
Amethyst

Mineral Family

Amethyst is a type of Quartz and a Silicate mineral.  Silicate minerals are the largest family of minerals, including more than 25% of all known minerals and 40% of all common minerals. In addition to being a major part of the Earth’s crust, silicate minerals have also been found on the moon and in meteorites. Silicates are minerals which contain the elements silicon (a light gray shiny metal) and oxygen (a colorless gas). Together, these two elements form a tetrahedra – a shape similar to a pyramid – with a silicon atom in the center and oxygen atoms at each of the three corners. These tetrahedra connect with other chemical structures, in six different ways, to form a wide variety of minerals and rocks.  There are six main groups of silicate minerals, and these main groups are further subdivided into secondary subdivisions, such as Quartz and Feldspar.  The Quartz family has two main main groups, macr0-crystalline and micro-crystalline.  The macro-crystalline minerals form large well-shaped crystals that are often transparent, while the micro-crystalline only form microscopic crystals and are always opaque.  Amethyst is the purple variety.

Amethyst’s energy works well with its family – other macrocrystalline Quartz minerals.  Try it in combination with AmetrineCitrineClear QuartzPrasiolite, Rose Quartz, and Smoky Quartz.

Amethyst Formation and Crystal Associates

Quartz crystals are created when liquid magma from a volcanic eruption cools down and transforms into igneous rocks. During this cooling down period, silica acid bubbles shift from being a gas/liquid into a solid compound. The bubble becomes a hollow space in the igneous rock and the silica acid becomes Quartz crystals.  Once the Quartz has formed, a large hollow is often called a “druze,” while a smaller hollow is a “geode.”  These druze and geodes can be removed from the host rock and then split open to revel the crystals inside.

If no trace elements are present to change its color, the silica acid becomes Clear Quartz. If no trace elements are present to change its color, the silic acid becomes Clear Quartz.  If trace minerals are present, then the color changes.  For example, Amethyst, Citrine, and Prasiolite typically all get their color from trace particles of iron heated to different temperatures.

Amethyst’s energy works well with its “friends” – crystal associates formed in the same geological environment.  Try it in combination with Hematite and Snow Quartz

Mineralogy Amethyst
Chemical Formula SiO2
Cleavage None
Color Purple
Crystal System Hexagonal/trigonal
Form/Habit Prismatic
Fracture Conchoidal
Hardness – Mohs Scale 7
Luminescence Pale yellow, white, or blue (short and long wave)
Luster Vitreous
Mineral Family Tectosilicate
Specific Gravity 2.7
Streak White
Transparency Translucent to opaque

History of Amethyst

Amethyst has one of the oldest and most detailed historical traditions of any healing stone. It is included in virtually every known lapidary, texts which describe gemstones and their powers. Some of the most ancient traditions concerning Amethyst date back to the very dawn of human civilization and probably originated long before that! For centuries, gem dealers in the Old World considered Amethyst to be one of only five “cardinal gemstones,” comparable with Diamond, Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald. These cardinal gemstones were considered so rare that only the very highest echelons of society could hope to own one. However, in the 18th century, large Amethyst mines were discovered in Brazil and soon flooded the market, thus transforming Amethyst from a “precious” to a “semi-precious” stone.

The very oldest reference to Amethysts is found in the Egyptian Book of the Dead, a funerary text dating back to 3400 BCE. The Book of the Dead is a funerary text whose name may be more correctly translated as the Book of Emerging Forth Into The Light. It contains a series of magical spells which, if used correctly, were thought to help the souls of the dead travel safely through the Underworld. In the Egyptian Book of the Dead, an Amethyst heart is described as the symbol for ‘wisdom in life’ and later as a symbol of ‘pure intellect.’

According to later Egyptian medical texts, an Amethyst necklace combined with a swallow feather and hung on a peacock ‘hair’ would protect the wearer from sorcery and cure gout. The remedy was described centuries later by Pliny the Elder (CE 23-79), a Roman author, naturalist and philopsher. In his lapidary, The Natural History of Precious Gemstones, Pliny the Elder wrote, “The lying Magi claim…that if the names of the Moon or Sun be engraved upon [an Amethyst], and they be hung about the neck from the hair of a baboon, or the feathers of a swallow, they are a charm against witchcraft. They are also serviceable to persons having petitions to make to Princes: they keep off hailstorms and flights of locusts, with the assistance of a spell…” While Pliny the Elder scoffed at the Egyptian beliefs, he also related that Amethyst was nicknamed ‘Venus’ eyelid’ on account of its great beauty. Most famously, Pliny the Elder provided one of the earliest known references for Amethyst’s ability to ward off drunkenness, a feat long celebrated by both the ancient Egyptians and Greeks.

Amethyst is mentioned in both the Bible and the Torah, as the ninth of twelve stones which decorated the breastplate of the High Priest of ancient Israel. The design for the Breastplate was given by God to Moses, whose brother Aaron was the first to wear it. Each of the gemstones on the Breastplate were inscribed with the symbol for one of the Twelves Tribes of Israel. Amethyst was most likely inscribed with the Tribe of Issachar or Daniel.

In later Christian lore, Amethyst was thought to correspond to the apostle Mattias and to symbolize ‘celestial fire.’ Mattias wasn’t one of the original apostles chosen by Jesus, instead he was chosen by Peter to replace Judas.   The Roman Catholic Church associated Amethyst with the blood of Christ and, for that reason, many cathedrals had sacrament goblets carved from large Amethysts. St. Valentine is also associated with this gemstone, and, according to lore, the Saint wore an Amethyst ring engraved with the figure of cupid.

In the 14th century, the French poet Remy Belleau (1528-1577) wrote L’Amethyste, ou les Amours de Bacchus et d’Amethyste (Amethyst or the loves of Bacchus and Amethyste), which describes how Amethyst was created and became linked with sobriety. While the myth is relatively modern, it follows the ancient mythic style of an unfortunate encounter between a mortal woman and a god…

One day Bacchus, the god of wine, was in a foul mood and feeling neglected. He decided to take out his frustration on the first mortal he encountered. Soon after, a beautiful young woman named Amethyste passed the god while on her way to worship at the shrine of the goddess Artemis. Bacchus ordered his tigers to devour the girl. As the beasts attacked, Amethyst cried out the name of the goddess to save her. Artemis responded by turning Amethyst into a white stone that could not be hurt by the tigers. Bacchus, suddenly struck by remorse, collected his best wines and poured the vintage over the white stone, dyeing it a vivid purple.

In the 14th century, the French poet Remy Belleau (1528-1577) wrote L’Amethyste, ou les Amours de Bacchus et d’Amethyste (Amethyst or the loves of Bacchus and Amethyste), which describes how Amethyst was created and became linked with sobriety. While the myth is relatively modern, it follows the ancient mythic style of an unfortunate encounter between a mortal woman and a god…

One day Bacchus, the god of wine, was in a foul mood and feeling neglected. He decided to take out his frustration on the first mortal he encountered. Soon after, a beautiful young woman named Amethyste passed the god while on her way to worship at the shrine of the goddess Artemis. Bacchus ordered his tigers to devour the girl. As the beasts attacked, Amethyst cried out the name of the goddess to save her. Artemis responded by turning Amethyst into a white stone that could not be hurt by the tigers. Bacchus, suddenly struck by remorse, collected his best wines and poured the vintage over the white stone, dyeing it a vivid purple.

Today, there are many types of Amethyst that are used as healing crystals.  Some are pure purple Amethyst, but others are mixed with other minerals.  Banded or Chevron Amethyst mixes the purple gem with white Snow QuartzSuper Seven and Auralite 23 are mainly purple Amethysts, but have a variety of mineral inclusions. Another famous variety is Brandberg Amethyst, which is mined in Namibia and combines the gem with Smoky Quartz and Clear Quartz.  While that mixture can be found in other locations, the fact that it is found near Brandberg mountain is what makes it special.