Amethyst has an almost worldwide distribution and is now most frequently mined in Russia, Brazil, Africa and Bolivia. Some geodes are large enough for a person to stand inside! The largest uncovered to date weighs 13,000 kg (28,660 lb) and measures 3 m (9 ft 10 in) by 1.8 m (5 ft 10 in) by 2.2 m (7 ft 2 in). It is displayed in Shandong Tianyu Museum of Natural History in Shandong, China.
Deposits are common in the western regions of Ireland and gems collected in the South West are locally known as Kerry Diamonds.
Amethyst is a purple quartz with hardness 7 on Mohs scale (1 being softest and 10 being hardest). Therefore these gems are suitable for daily wear in rings and other jewellery. Amethyst is a beautiful crystal whose natural form lends itself to many attractive faceting styles. Thus, it can be incorporated into any piece of jewellery that the wearer desires. It features in many Royal Jewellery collections – purple being the regal colour.
Historically the name derives from the Greek amethystos, which means “a remedy against drunkenness” – the gem was thought to keep the wearer level headed even after imbibing in alcohol.
In crystal alchemy Amethyst is a stone of enlightenment, being associated with the higher chakras and aiding connections with spirit guides. The element associated with Amethyst is the wind. This crystal is said to be helpful in overcoming addictions, clearing negative emotions and reducing anxiety and stress.
While Amethyst is the birthstone of February it is a firm favourite of those born in any month!