Amethyst weighing 14.11 carats set in a ring of
18 karat gold.
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, it cleanses
the body of impurities, it keeps the mind clear
and alert and improves the memory, it gives the
wearer pleasant dreams and keeps 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.