The purple variety of Quartz, Amethyst derives its name from the Greek word amethystos, which means “not drunken.” The stone was associated with wine in ancient times because of its coloring, and thought to keep the wearer clear headed.

While quartz is a common mineral, gem-quality purple crystals are relatively rare. At one time, Amethysts were considered as valuable as emeralds, rubies, and sapphires, and were included in crown jewels around the world. The discovery of large Amethyst deposits in Brazil in the 19th century made the stone more widely available.

Amethysts can appear in a range of colors from lavender to dark purple, but the most valuable amethysts have a deep reddish-purple color and are found in Siberia. It is the birthstone of February.