Amethyst is the purple variety of quartz. It is the most highly valued stone in the quartz group, and can vary in colour from light violet to deep purple. The name Amethyst derives from the ancient Greek myth that the stone was a cure for drunkenness. The wine-like colour of the stone lead to an early association with the Greek god of wine, Bacchus. Amethyst literally means ‘not drunken’ and was often worn as an amulet to ward off intoxication.
A more romantic association, St. Valentine was said to wear an amethyst cameo ring, carved with the image of Cupid. Amethyst is the birthstone for February, and is gifted for thirty-three year wedding anniversaries. It is found in Brazil, Bolivia, India, Madagascar, Namibia, Russia, Sri Lanka, Zambia and Zimbabwe.