Over centuries, precious gems have entered our collective consciousness not only for their beauty, but for the supposed benefits they provide. Amethyst has a storied body of lore, and amethyst necklaces are one of the oldest protective amulets that we know. From the ancient tombs of Egypt to modern day believers, this stone continues its legacy of mysticism.
AMETHYST AS A CURATIVE STONE
It is a well-known fact that amethyst has a reputation of sobriety. These stories trace their origins to the Greek name for amethyst. In Greek, this plum jewel is called améthystos, meaning “not intoxicated” or “not drunk.” Amethyst jewelry, especially easy-to-wear items like amethyst necklaces, were said to be a way of preventing intoxication, or to detoxify a person who might be drunk.
This gem was deployed in other ways, too. Some texts suggested placing in on the navel for a curative effect, while others suggest placing it against the temples and wrapping it with silk bandages.
During the thirteenth century, the writer Ragiel wrote a treatise on gemstones. Influenced by Hebrew and Greek tradition, the Book of Wings described many gemstones, and the carvings that would benefit the wearer. In his work, an amethyst necklace, inscribed with a bear, protects the wearer from demons. This is in addition to amethyst’s long reputation of protecting from strong drink.
AMETHYST IN CHRISTIANITY
It’s been established previously that amethyst rings were favored by some bishops. In addition, amethyst was popular among early Christians for many reasons.
As a birthstone, amethyst is sometimes considered to be one of the 12 foundation stones, found in Aaron’s Breastplate. As a result, these stones were popular as amulets. Sometimes, these birthstones were matched with the apostles. For this reason, amethyst jewelry was sometimes associated with the apostle Matthias. The red flashes seen in fine examples was likened to Matthias and his gift for language and spreading gospel.
AMETHYST PENDANTS IN THE MIDDLE AGES
During medieval times, amethyst was sometimes considered a soldier’s stone. Some crusaders were said to wear the stone as a form of protection to prevent them from falling in battle.
Harriet Keith Fobes states in Mystic Gems, “Many a pious crusader who nightly told his beads, relied upon the “purple stone” that hung as a charm beside his rosary.”
ANCIENT EGYPTIAN AMETHYST PENDANTS
Ancient Egyptians believed that wearing an amethyst heart pendant is a major amulet of protection. For them, the stone is a symbol of wisdom. Besides wisdom, wearing the proper amethyst amulet was said to provide relief from gout and protection from sorcery.
The pendants of these old kingdoms vary widely in appearance, and represent distinct eras. When it comes to examples of and amethyst pendant necklace, we see some precious few examples from earlier times, approximately 2000 BCE. These amulets show animal forms, or just animal heads, and are carved from carnelian, beryl, or amethyst.
One such example is described by famed gemologist G. F. Kunz in his work, The Curious Lore of Precious Stones, “This necklace, the parts of which were found about the neck of a body, presumably that of a young man, was composed of rounded and annular beads of carnelian and shell, as well as of flat, perforated fragments of turquoise and almandine garnet and an approximately lozenge-shaped bead of amethyst 1.7 cm. long and 1.4 cm. broad.”
THE AMETHYST NECKLACE OF QUEEN CHARLOTTE
Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz was the wife of British king George III from 1761 until her death in 1818. Known as a patron of the arts, Queen Charlotte was known for her love of beauty. An amethyst necklace was commissioned for the queen. Said to cost around £2000, adjusted for inflation, this piece would be valued at well over $30,000 in today’s market.
For many, amethyst is still a powerful protection stone. For many practitioners of crystal healing, an amethyst pendant provides a link between the earth and other states of being. It remains a symbol sobriety, focus, and the mind.
Discover a fascinating selection of amethyst necklaces at Shop LC.