This month's birthstone is a great stone for meditation. It is a third eye and crown chakra stone. It is known as a stone of spirituality and contentment.
Beautiful purple amethysts have been prized since the time of the ancient Greeks. Because of their grape-like color, the Greeks associated these gems with the wine god, Bacchus. They believed that wearing an amethyst could protect you from drunkenness—in fact the word amethystos meant “not drunk” in ancient Greek. According to gemstone lore, amethyst jewelry keeps its wearer clear-headed and clever. Artist Leonardo da Vinci wrote that amethysts enhance intelligence and protect against evil thoughts.
Because of its rare beauty and the expense it took to create the color for fabric, purple has long been considered a regal color, so amethysts frequently appear in royal and religious jewelry. Buddhists have believed that amethyst enhances meditation, and the gem is often used for Tibetan prayer beads. Various cultures have associated amethyst with peace, balance and courage, and ascribed to it the ability to cure insomnia and relieve pain.
Until the 19th century amethysts were as valuable and expensive as emeralds, sapphires and rubies, but then a large deposit of amethysts was discovered in Brazil. Although this lowered the gems’ financial value, the trove of Brazilian gems allowed large amethysts to be used more frequently in jewelry. They are often found in eye-catching cocktail rings from the Art Deco and Retro eras.