Throughout history, the beautiful allure of amethyst has been sought after by a variety of cultures. Its unique purple hue places it among the most highly regarded of gemstones. But how did amethyst get its name and why has it become so popular? The story may surprise you!
In the 1500s, it was believed that wearing amethyst would prevent drunkenness. This myth was perpetuated by a French poet, who made up a Roman legend in order to add a unique story to the stone as a part of one of his poems.
The story goes that a young maiden on her way to worship at the Temple of Diana. Unfortunately for her, she crossed paths with the Roman god of wine, Bacchus, who, already frustrated and angry about something totally unrelated, vowed that he would unleash his revenge on the next hapless person he dared encounter.
That hapless person just happened to be the young maiden. Bacchus ordered his two guardian tigers to attack her, and just as the tigers were about to pounce on her, the goddess Diana intervened on her behalf, turning her into a beautiful, clear stone.
Remorseful for what he had done, Bacchus immediately poured his wine over the stone to atone for his actions. In doing so, the stone was stained a deep purple, giving rise to the amethyst we all know and love today.
A Stone By Any Other Name
Although the name of the maiden in the story was Amethyst, you may be surprised to learn that this beautiful-sounding name comes from amethystos, an ancient Greek word meaning “not drunk”
Over time, amethyst came to be associated with early Christianity. Its reddish purple color alluded to the wounds and suffering of Christ and as such, in those ancient times, amethysts were thought to speed up the healing of wounds.
Even St. Valentine, the saint for which Valentine’s Day gets its name, was believed to wear an amethyst ring. It’s not surprising then that with this connotation, the surrounding view of amethyst as a calming, purifying stone and its connection with love that it became the birthstone of February.
Modern Amethyst Designs
Although people no longer believe that amethyst heals wounds or that it will prevent you from the effects of drunkenness, amethyst is still nevertheless a gorgeous gemstone and a beautiful way to show your love and affection.
With hues ranging from deep magenta to purple, it’s easy to see how the unique color and style of amethyst jewelry lends a touch of the unique, exotic and beautiful to any style. At Valobra Jewelers, we invite you browse our extensive collection of amethyst jewelry to find the perfect piece that speaks to you!
Whether you’re buying for a loved one, a family member or your favorite person born in February, an amethyst birthstone jewelry piece is sure to be treasured for years to come! Browse our collection of amethyst jewelry today!
Don’t forget to shop our top gifts for Valentine’s Day here!