Out of all the gem stones in the world, amethyst gem stones surely must be one of the most beautiful. Purple in color and a variety of quartz, amethyst gemstones especially make beautiful amethyst necklaces, as they can be calibrated in many sizes and shapes. Actually, the word "amethyst" was originally derived from the Greek language and means "not drunk." Amethyst gem stones may have been given this name in the belief that they could have helped ward off the effects of drunkenness.
Today we know that amethyst gem stones come in a variety of purple shades (pale lilac to deep purple) and have a hardness of 7. In its specimen as a mineral, amethyst gemstones form nice shapes of crystal and display an attractive, purple sparkle. But be informed that amethyst is not of the same quality everywhere it is found. Different regions produce slightly different amethyst gem stones. Quality is really dependent on the following five traits:
Besides being beautiful, amethyst gem stones have a long association with royalty. The British monarchs wore crowns with amethyst gem stones, as did Catherine the Great and many Pharaohs from Egypt. In the country of Tibet, amethyst gem stones are made into rosaries for Buddhists. Some people, to this day, still believe that amethyst necklaces and gemstones can ward off the effects of intoxication. Even the great Leonardo Da Vinci wrote that amethyst could remove evil thoughts and sharpen the wit.
Amethyst is currently mined in Uruguay, Bolivia, Brazil, Argentina, Namibia, Zambia and some states in America. In general, amethyst gem stones from Africa are of higher, more saturated color, but in smaller sizes than amethyst found in South America. Fortunately for us, amethyst necklaces and gem stones are widely available and reasonably priced. In fact, everyone can afford to wear them and enjoy their beauty.