The Tales of Amethyst

L’Amethyste, ou Les Amours de Bacchus et d’Amethyste

A 16th-century poem by the French Romantic poet, Remy Belleau, paints a compelling and evocative “myth.” The story goes as follows.

Bacchus, the Greek God of Wine, was obsessing over the beautiful maiden Amethyste. He pursued her, chasing her far and wide. 

Not wanting to become his prey, Amethyste called out to the Goddess of Chastity, Diana, for help. 

To protect her, Diana turned the maiden into a pure white quartz statue. 

Humiliated by her sacrifice, Bacchus poured an offering of his grape wine onto the stone, staining Amethyste a glorious purple color.

Statue of Bacchus.

Dionysus and the Tigers

One day, the Roman God of Wine, Dionysus, was enraged by the offense of a mortal. 

Intent on killing the next mortal he saw, Dionysus created two ferocious tigers. 

The unfortunate victim was a beautiful maiden. 

She was saved by the Goddess Artemis, who turned her into a crystalline statue, protecting her from the beasts. 

The tragic figure, filling Dionysus with remorse, made him weep tears of wine. 

These tears fell upon the sculpture, staining it purple and thus creating amethyst.

Legends tell that all amethyst comes from the statue of Amethyste. Because of its connection with Dionysus, many say amethyst protects the wearer from drunkenness by inducing sobriety.

The Truth Behind the Myth

This story may not be true, but it indeed invokes the romance, depth, and clarity of this remarkable gemstone.

Amethyst has many shades, such as lilac, lavender, and eggplant. All are valued, but many say that deep purple stones from Uruguay are the best.

However, origin alone can’t define a stone’s color, and gorgeous gems can occur all over the world.

Amethyst Bracelet in Sterling Silver

Amethyst in Ancient Cultures

Across the world, many cultures value amethyst. However, the tales of amethyst aren’t all about wine and drink.

  • Ancient Egyptians wore amethyst amulets to protect against guilt, fear, and witchcraft.
  • In China, amethyst is a powerful tool in Feng Shui. Masters mostly use amethyst to ward off negative energy.
  • Romans also thought amethyst protects from drunkenness, carving goblets and chalices from this stone.
  • Medieval knights from Europe carried this stunning gem to help them keep a cool head during battle.
  • Also, during the Middle Ages, brides gave their grooms heart-shaped amethyst stones in silver to bless their marriages.

Regal and Faithful

Purple continues to be a royal color. As a result, the hue is always in demand.

Some say amethyst encourages chastity by signifying piety and self-denial. For this reason, bishops chose this gemstone to wear in their rings.

Rumors say that Saint Valentine wore an amethyst ring with the image of Eros, the Greek God of Love.

Legends tell us how Saint Valentine would perform secret marriages. At the time, they were illegal by order of Claudius II of Rome.

The Iron Crown of the Lombards

The Iron Crown of the Lombards. Photo Credit: James Steakley

One of the oldest surviving pieces of amethyst jewelry is the “Iron Crown of the Lombards.” From Italy, this golden crown features twenty-two gemstones! Some say it even contains a band of iron made from the crucifixion nails of Christ.

Amethyst Today

Famous for its beauty, color, purple hues, and sparkling allure, amethyst is sure to be prized in your collection. A well-known symbol of love, peace, and happiness; some even say it improves existing relationships by enticing those you desire into your arms!

Amethyst is the kind of jewelry we treasure, as it marks the beginning of a loving relationship. Amethyst jewelry helps express those things that words cannot!

According to gem therapists, amethyst is one of the most powerful healing stones. They say it counteracts negative energies. Also, it is known as “nature’s tranquilizer.” Believers say it relieves obsessive-compulsive disorder and insomnia. 

Amethyst is the modern February birthstone and a traditional gift for the 6th wedding anniversary. Popular lore says it brings peace and tranquility to the couple, perfect for a long and happy marriage!

Explore the full range of amethyst jewelry at Shop LC. 

What is your favorite amethyst story? Tell us in the comments!