Friday, November 21, 2008

Amethyst Cradle

Amethyst is found world-wide and if it were not for its widespread availability, amethyst would be very expensive. Amethysts from different regions differ in quality and experts tend to identify the origin of a stone from its quality. The most celebrated quality of amethyst comes from Africa. These gems from Africa are prized for their deep, velvety violet color and outstanding clarity.

Another popular source of amethyst is Brazil. The gems from Brazil have a pale to medium lilac hue with great transparency. Amethyst from Brazil is usually available in larger sizes than the African amethyst but, on the other hand, amethyst from Africa is prized for the saturated color.

Canada is also amongst the known cradles of this lovely gemstone.The Canadian stones are famous for the red undertones that complement the purple color. The Italian gems are prized for the even distribution of the color in the gemstone. Deep violet amethysts, mostly in small sizes, are mined in Australia. Other noted sources of amethyst include Bolivia, Argentina, Madagascar, South Korea, India and Sri Lanka.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

The Lore About Amethyst

Amethyst gets its name from the Greek word "amethystos" meaning “not drunken”. Traditionally amethyst has been considered as the sobriety stone. In ancient times amethyst was believed to be a strong antidote against drunkenness and the wine goblets were often carved from amethyst crystal.

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There are different stories that talk of amethyst origin. The most popular folklore is about the Greek God of intoxication, Dionysus. According to the story, Dionysus was insulted by a worldly being. Enraged, He swore revenge and divulged that He would destroy the first worldly being that crosses his way. Dionysus created ferocious tigers to carry his wish. A young maiden, Amethystos, who was on her way to pay tribute to goddess Artemis, became the unsuspected victim. Artemis transformed Amethystos into a pillar made of crystal to protect her. When Dionysus learned this, he wept tears of wine on the pillar in remorse of the incident. The wine tears turned the crystal purple, hence amethyst was created.

Other story talks of a drunken Dionysus coercing a maiden called Amethystos. She refused his affections and prayed to the gods to remain chaste. The goddess Artemis granted her prayer, transforming her into a white crystal. Dionysus poured wine over the crystal she had become as an offering, coloring the crystal purple.