Amethyst is a purple variety of quartz (SiO2) and owes its violet color to irradiation, impurities of iron and in some cases other transition metals, and the presence of other trace elements, which result in complex crystal lattice substitutions. The hardness of the mineral is the same as quartz, thus making it suitable for use in jewelry.
Amethyst was also reputed to control evil thoughts, increase intelligence and render men shrewd in business matters.
For travelers it was worn as a protection from treachery and surprise attacks, kept soldiers from harm and gave them victory over their enemies.
Considered to be a powerful psychic stone of protection against witchcraft and black magic.
In the spiritual world, Amethyst provided a connection to the Divine. To the Hebrews, it was Ahlamah, the ninth stone in the breastplate of the High Priest, engraved with the tribe of Dan, as well as the twelfth foundation stone for the New Jerusalem. To the Egyptians, it was Hemag, listed in the Book of the Dead to be carved into heart-shaped amulets for burial. In Eastern cultures, it was listed in descriptions of sacred “gem-cities,” “trees of life,” and used in temple offerings for worship, and to align planetary and astrological influences. It was popular in rosaries and prayer beads, credited with creating an atmosphere of pious calm, imbuing a sense of mental peace and quietude.