- Mohs hardness rating: 7
- Found in Brazil, Burma, North America, Russia, Southwest Africa, Uruguay.
Amethyst - brilliantly sparkling and royal in its purple hue -- is the most valued gemstone from the quartz family. Rich purple has always been a rare and noble color. The crowns of Egyptian pharaohs were set with amethysts, and it was the favorite gem of Christian leaders in the Middle Ages.
Amethyst’s name comes from Greek and means "not drunken." For centuries, it was commonly believed that wearing an amethyst while drinking wine would keep the wearer from getting drunk -- though it was never proven in any experiment. The amethyst is also reputed to have the power to control evil thoughts, quicken wit, and bring luck to gamblers. Roman wives firmly believed in wearing amethysts to keep their husbands attentive and affectionate.