Amethyst, the birthstone of February, is a purple-violet variety of the quartz family and has a Mohs hardness of 7. Traditionally believed by ancient Greeks and Romans to ward off the intoxicating powers of Bacchus, also is said to keep the wearer clear-headed and quick-witted. The ancient Greek name amethustos translates literally to "not drunk", which explains why some goblets were historically made of Amethyst. Found all over the world, from India to Brazil to Australia and the United States, Amethyst has long been a prized stone by royalty worldwide. Amethyst is described as a stone especially beneficial to calming the mind, believed to enhance spiritual awareness and is the birthstone for February.
These gems are thought to bring peace, balance, courage, clairvoyance, emotional protection, sobriety and inner strength. Wearing it while meditating is said to deepen the practice and create a heightened awareness; clairvoyants and psychics rely on the stone to amplify intuition and open all spiritual channels. (Many recommend sleeping with Amethyst under your pillow in order to thwart insomnia and encourage lucid dreaming). It's also a healing stone and can provide relief and peace even in the face of addiction and emotional trauma. They have one of the strongest powers to rid your home of any negative influence. English regalia were even decorated with Amethysts during the Middle Ages to symbolize royalty. Historically, the finest Amethyst were found in Russia and were featured in much royal European jewelry. Today, while Brazil is the primary source of this gemstone, fine material can be found elsewhere, especially in Zambia.