Amethyst is a variety of the mineral quartz, characterized by its signature purple hue. According to crystal expert Heather Askinosie, it can be found in parts of Brazil, Canada, India, Madagascar, Namibia, Russia, the U.S., Uruguay, and Zambia.
“Amethyst, due to its deep purple color, is associated with Bacchus, the Greek god of wine,” Askinosie tells mbg, adding that large drinking vessels used for water and wine used to be carved from this stone. “Roman matrons believed that wearing amethyst would help to guarantee fidelity, and Cleopatra is said to have worn a signet ring made of amethyst to represent enlightenment and love,” she adds.
Amethyst is also one of the 12 gemstones that lined the walls of Heaven in the book of Revelations, with amethyst’s color associated with the wine transfigured to Christ’s blood. It is also one of the 12 official birthstones (February’s, specifically!).