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Amethyst


Amethyst - Crystalline quartz in shades of purple, lilac, or mauve is called amethyst. The amethyst is extravagance in violet. For many thousands of years, the most striking representative of the quartz family has been a jewel coveted by princes both ecclesiastical and secular. Moses described it as a symbol of the Spirit of God in the official robes of the High Priest of the Jews, and the Russian Empress Catherine the Great sent thousands of miners into the Urals to look for it. In popular belief, the amethyst offers protection against drunkenness Greek words 'amethystos' mean intoxicated' in translation. A more apt stone for the month of February, particularly if there is to be plenty going on in the way of carnival celebrations, could thus hardly be wished for. Amethyst has a hardness of 7 on Moh’s scale, its moderate refraction and its weight in common with the other quartzes, but the crystal structure is different, and it is most unconventional. The construction is stratified, as a result of which areas and lamellae of varying colour intensity often come about. This explains why there are relatively few large cut amethysts of an evenly distributed dark colour, in spite of its having been found so abundantly in all parts of the world. It is only in the last few years that scientists have been fairly certain of having found the real cause of the colour. It is now attributed to certain iron constituents in connection with natural radioactive radiation. Amethysts are found in alluvial deposits in Brazil, Urals, Sri Lanka, India and Madagascar.

Myths on Amethyst >>

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