"And when I take them out of the cherrywood box these beads are the colour of dog-violets in shadow." ~ Amethyst Beads, Eavan Boland, 1944
The name "amethyst" comes from an Ancient Greek combination of words meaning "not intoxicated," a reference to the belief that the stone protected its owner from drunkenness. Also once considered a stone only for royalty because of the significance attached to the colour purple (a shade difficult to create before modern times), this purple stone was once considered more precious than the diamond, ruby, sapphire, or emerald.
February's birthstone, the amethyst, is a violet variety of quartz.
The name comes from the Ancient Greek combination of words meaning "not intoxicated," a reference to the belief that the stone protected its owner from drunkenness.
Medieval European soldiers wore amethyst amulets as protection in battle in the belief that amethysts heal people and keep them cool-headed. Western Christian bishops wear an episcopal ring often set with an amethyst, associated with the allusion to the description of the Apostles as "not drunk" at Pentecost in Acts 2:15.
This tartan, designed by Carol A.L. Martin, recalls the colour of amethyst ore from the designer's trip to an amethyst mine in Northern Ontario.