Amethyst is the most precious and valuable stone belonging to the quartz group of minerals. Amethyst varies in colour from deep purple to light violet and from transparent to translucent. Amethyst is the birthstone for February. The Greek word "amethystos" translates into "not drunken" and it was often worn as an amulet to protect against intoxication. Since amethyst was considered an antidote against drunkenness, many wine goblets were carved from amethyst stone.
The legend of the origin of amethyst comes to us from a Greek myth. Dionysius, the god of intoxication, was angered one day by an insult from a human and swore revenge on the next mortal that crossed his path. Aggressive tigers would carry out his wish. Amethyst, a beautiful young maiden on her way to pay tribute to the goddess Diana was to become the victim. Diana turned Amethyst into a statue of pure crystalline quartz to protect her from the tigers' brutal claws. Dionysus wept tears of wine in remorse for his action at the sight of the beautiful statue. The god's tears stained the quartz purple, creating the famous gem.
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