The Gem that Prevents Intoxication
Amethyst — the February birthstone — is the purple variety of quartz. The color purple has long been associated with royalty, making amethyst a desirable gem for royal crown jewels since the Middle Ages. Ancient Greeks and Romans believed that drinking from an amethyst goblet could help prevent drunkenness. This could be because amethyst was associated with Bacchus, the Greek god of wine, or it could be because amethyst’s purple color helped hide the fact that the wine was often watered-down!
Fine amethysts have been set in religious jewelry and royal crown jewels for ages. It was once considered equal in value to ruby, emerald, and sapphire. It’s no wonder that fine amethyst adorns the fingers of bishops as well as the coronation regalia of British royalty.