Amethyst represents the purple variety of Quartz. Its color can vary from very light purple to purple and the value is often linked to the greater intensity of color. Its name derives from the Greek word Amethustés which means “not drunk”.

Amethyst crystals are found in sub-alkaline basalt rocks and their formation is linked to hydrothermal activity (last phase of magmatic activity). Usually these crystals are found on the walls of cavities inside the igneous rocks called geodes. Here, quartz-rich fluids, as they cool, allow the quartz to precipitate and grow along the walls.

This process leads to the formation of quartz crystals. Amethyst geodes vary in size from tens of centimeters to a few meters.

The largest amethyst geode found so far has a length of 3 meters and a weight of two and a half tons. It was found in an Uruguayan mine in 2007 and was christened "The Empress of Uruguay".


In Ancient Egypt, the amethyst was worn as an amulet of protection during long journeys outside the cities, against ambushes and betrayal. Today, however, it is used by Catholic bishops as a talisman for spiritual protection. Also in Egypt it was also used to relieve feelings of guilt.

Already in the Neolithic in Europe we can trace amethysts used both as amulets and as a symbol of royalty. The amethyst was set in jewels, crowns and scepters.

A myth narrated by Ovid has it that Amethyst is the name of a nymph who, fleeing from Bacchus, invokes Diana's protection. The goddess, to save her, transforms her into a very pure crystal. Bacchus, furious, throws his glass with the wine in it on the stone, thus giving it the typical purple color.

The belief, however, that amethyst protects against drunkenness is probably to be traced back to the times of the Romans and the Greeks, who used it, in fact, to protect themselves from excessive consumption of alcoholic beverages and even food.

A belief, especially widespread in Peru, wanted the amethyst to be an amulet of protection against witchcraft. Other legends believed it capable of making people immune to poisons or driving out demons.

Why is amethyst purple?

Unlike pure quartz which has a transparent color, amethyst is purple in color. This color difference is due to the presence of iron within the crystal lattice of the mineral. In order for this beautiful variety of quartz to be formed, the hydrothermal fluid must be enriched with iron during the cooling phases.

The mere presence of iron, however, is not enough to cause the quartz to take on a purple color. In fact, for the purple color to appear, the iron atom must oxidize.

Where is it?

The main fields are located in: Brazil, Uruguay, Bolivia, USA, Madagascar, Russia, Mexico, India. In Italy there are various formations in the province of Trento, Turin, Grosseto, Bolzano and Sassari.


Although it is not one of the most sought after precious stones, the main use made of this mineral is in jewelry. In fact, its purple colors are very popular for creating beautiful jewelry.

Metaphysical angle

Amethyst is recognized in the metaphysical world, various healing properties.

It is mainly known as a protective stone, connected to the crown chakra, useful for purifying the mind and freeing it from negative thoughts, stress and anxiety.

Additionally, amethyst is said to promote intuition and communication and, therefore, can be used to increase effectiveness at work.