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Amethyst: the precious soberness

Thursday, 04 December 2008
amethyst

A beautiful tenderly-purple gemstone is very much loved for a long time now. It was called «amethystos» in Ancient Greece that meant       non-drunk due to the fact that it was believed that the owner of an amethyst never got drunk and it was said that amethyst neutralized toxins. The same is stated in a writing found in Russia that was approximately made in 1672: «Amethyst is a gem of the cherry colors, it's been born in India and there are powers inside the gemstone: it shoos the drunkenness away, it moves the bold thoughts away, creates an all-clear mind and helps in all of the deeds». Almost at all times the purple gemstone was used as an aid against the drinking and it seems like it has really helped, otherwise how could these writings and legends live so long for us to read and hear them?

The name of the gemstone is actually linked to the name of a beautiful nymph that was called Amethys. The ancient Greek God of wine and joy fell in love with the nymph and had a deep passion for her but Amethys as proud as one could be refused to be with Dionysus because she loved a shepherd called Sirikos who was a beautiful musician and one of the Apollo's chosen ones. While Amethys was running through the forests and meadows from the outraged Dionysus, she asked the Goddess of war Artemis to come to her aid. Artemis came and turned her into a lilac glowing gemstone that was later on named Amethyst after the nymph.

Much later amethyst was considered a sacred and spiritual gemstone and lots of the ecclesiastic items and attributes were made using the gemstone. When one was advanced to go on to become a cardinal one was given a ring with an amethyst in it. This is why the gem was later called a bishop's or a pastor's gem in catholic countries and pontiff's in Russia. In a more ancient time amethyst was used to create cups, sigils, signets and small things (In Ancient Greece and Rome) and also lots of flasks and caskets and chests (In China). It was believed that if a poisonous drink would be drunk out of an amethyst cup the one who drank it won't get poisoned. Others believed that if the gemstone was put into the venom it would change its color and tincture.

In real life however amethyst changes its colors when the sun shines bright directly at it. The gemstone is almost burned down by the beams but if it is later treated carefully and is being processed under the X-ray beams the color comes back to its original, purple tones. The colors of amethyst can vary: from light-purple to really dark, deep tones of purple with rose or red tinctures. There are however very little of the pure and clear gemstones out there that have no impregnations or any of such. The most common look of the amethyst is when the stone has the white isinglass stone impregnations in it or when the amethyst's colors are a little yellow which is covered by purple paint before the selling so that the buyer doesn't notice that. This is why one should wash amethyst in soapy water after one bought the precious gemstone.

One shouldn't forget that those bright and lively amethysts that we see under the sunlight are getting pale and fade once they are in a room with the electrical lighting. But despite this one shouldn't leave the gem under sunlight for too long as it may lead to color getting even paler and the gem would fade horribly. The purple amethyst would turn into a pale white gem or get this ugly white tincture.

If you have decided to buy an amethyst jewel make sure that the precious stone is solid (amethyst is a hard stone and can be used to cut glass) and bright. One shouldn't forget that a gemstone with cracks and chips can bring bad luck to its owner.

If you are looking for a talisman please remember that an amethyst of round, oval or square forms can be worn by anyone whereas an amethyst of a triangle form would only suit people with earth or fire Zodiac signs. One should also choose a clear, bright amethyst of a medium size to improve the family relations (This gemstone according to feng-shui philosophy is capable of doing so). Amethyst can calm down the nerves, settle down the conflicts; it brings luck, peace and blessing. This is way in Ancient Rome the gemstone was called a blessed stone. Amethyst was widely used by the soldiers to bring them confidence, bravery and sobriety. It was also used by travelers who even tried to get foresee the weather with its help. It is believed that amethyst is capable of shooing the pain of loss and miss away from a woman's heart and of course it is considered one of the best gems to protect its owner from plague, malefice, hoodoo, dark magic. A sun or a moon carved on a dark-purple amethyst would make it a strong talisman and protector.

In the last few years amethysts became cheaper due to the increased number of the artificial gemstones in the market. Those precious stones are very hard to distinguish. However speaking about the power of a talisman it's hard to tell whether the artificial amethysts are as strong as the ones that are natural. However believing that it is an artificial one is as strong as the natural when placing a necklace with the gemstone around one's neck will certainly protect him. And speaking about the legend of the soberness that a cup made from purple stone brings is fairly simple: it's hard for one to see through the dark purple glass how watered the wine in the cup is which helps the drinker stay sober for as long as he or she wants.

Lelya Bolotova

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