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, and 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 feel wonderful both inside and out.