Amethyst is a variety of crystalline quartz whose color ranges from light violet (blue-purple) to deep purple (blue-red). The name amethyst comes from the Greek and means "not drunken". The stone was believed to temper the effects of alcohol.
Amethyst and the color purple has been associated historically with royalty and it has often been used in crowns, rings and scepters. Amethyst was one of the highest priced stones until the 19th century when significant deposits were found in Brazil. Amethyst is now readily available from Brazil and Uruguay, Madagascar, India, Russia, the United States and many other countries.
Amethyst is the birthstone for February. In Vedic astrology amethyst is used to strengthen the energy of Saturn. It helps in the cultivation of detachment and discipline. It is good for concentration and mental clarity. On the spiritual level it attunes us with a higher consciousness.
In addition to being used as a cut gemstone it is also one of the most beautiful mineral specimens in its crystal form.