Amethyst, the name of this exquisite purple quartz crystal comes from the Greek word meaning not drunk, as the stone was believed in antiquity to keep the wearer sober no matter how much wine he might consume. All the great ancient civilizations valued the gem, which was particularly popular in Egypt for scarabs and in Greece and Rome for intaglio rings. Because of its wine dark color and its use to prevent intoxication, many were carved with the head of the wine god Dionysus. The oldest known stone in the crown jewels of England is an amethyst first worn in the 11th century by Edward The Confessor. Even today, the rings of high-ranking ecclesiastics often have amethysts as their center stones. Many wonderful and therapeutic properties are ascribed to the gem it can cure gout, cleanse the body of impurities, keep the mind clear and alert and improve the memory, give the wearer pleasant dreams and keep him immune from infection and contagious diseases. Because of its purple hue, amethyst is also said to have a soothing effect on the wearer, preventing outbursts of temper and making one generally amiable. It is also reputed to inspire creativity. Because it is a crystal, the energy level radiating from this translucent royal gem is particularly high, causing the wearer to feel wonderful both inside and out. Lapis is a rare metamorphic rock produced by the interaction of granite like magma with marble. With Chile being the primary source of the gemstone, it is no wonder that it was worked by the Incas in pre-Columbian times and continues to be produced in that country today. Lapis was also available in the old world. In Egypt, carved lapis lazuli beads, scarabs, pendants and inlaid jewelry date back to as early as 3100 b.c. esteemed as both a gem and an amulet, lapis was also ground into powder and used for medicinal and cosmetic purposes. Old world royalty adorned themselves with lapis. The tomb of queen Pu-Abi 2500 b.c. in the city of Ur in Summer contained adornments rich with lapis, including three gold headpieces and two bead necklaces. During the time of Confucius ca. 551479 b.c. the Chinese carved lapis hair and belt ornaments. As early as the fourth century b.c. the Greeks used lapis for carving scarabs, while later in Rome lapis was fashioned into intaglios, plain ring stones, beads and inlays. The ancient Buddhists were aware of its curative powers, bringing the wearer peace of mind and equanimity. Lapis was also believed to dispel all evil thoughts.