Protection against getting drunk? Amethyst is the February birthstone

by Ana Cavalheiro February 23, 2012


Let me present you the rich purple parent of quartz gemstones and February birthstones: the amethyst! 

Does the color remind you of something?....yep, red wine! 

(for script reasons forget the green amethysts, they are the result of heat-treated purple amethysts...)

And the name? If  you didn't study ancient Greek it's ok, I'll explain: the Greek word "amethystos" may be translated as "not drunken" and in the ancient times was considered as a strong antidote against drunkenness. 

So forget Guronsan to cure your hangover, just wear an amethyst and learn the hard way...

Story goes (a.k.a story as in Greek mythology) that Dionysus, the god of intoxication and wine, was pursuing a maiden named Amethystos who refused his affections (nothing surprising here). Amethystos prayed to the gods to remain chaste (most likely praying for Dionysus not to rape her as it usually happened in Greek mythology) and Artemis answered, transforming her into a statue of crystalline quartz. Dionysus was so surprised by Amethysto's desire to remain chaste that he poured red wine over the stone as an offering to Artemis, staining the white crystals purple! There you go, here's how quartz got purple.

The true story?  Amethyst is a variety of quartz (true from the story) but it's purple color is due to irradiation and iron impurities in the quartz...

Some centuries later, in the middle ages, popular belief was that amethysts could heal people, protect against tempests, bring good fortune in war and hunt. And even drive out evil spirits and inspire the intellect. Miraculous gemstone the amethyst could do anything! But hey, these were the middle ages (also known as the "dark ages") and these guys were known for not knowing much about anything...

And today? Well, it's a pretty cool gemstone. It never prevented me from getting drunk, but then again,  I haven't gotten drunk since I was 18 so you'll never know....

Ana Cavalheiro
Ana Cavalheiro


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