Mined for thousands of years, amethyst was prized by royals for its rich purple hue. Amethyst was thought to have healing and protective properties. Early Greeks associated amethyst and its wine‐purple color to Bacchus, the god of wine, while ancient Romans believed it prevented its wearer from intoxication.


Amethyst ranges in color from green to pale violet to deep reddish‐purple.

Gem Family

Amethyst is a variety of crystalline quartz.


Amethyst rates a 7 on the Mohs hardness scale, making it a good choice for everyday wear.


Heat treatment is used to create green amethysts. Purple amethyst is not generally treated.


Amethyst is also the traditional birthstone for those born in February.


Store amethyst away from other gemstones to keep them from being scratched. To clean amethyst, rinse it thoroughly under warm running water and dry with a soft lint‐free cloth. Ultrasonic cleaning is usually safe, while steam cleaners should be avoided.