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Camillus Leonardus remarked of the amethyst, "This gem is reckoned among the purple and transparent stones, mixed with a violet color, emitting rosy sparkles." The Indian variety is the most precious. It is held to sharpen the wit, prevent drunkenness when bound to the navel, turn away evil thoughts, and render knowledge of the future in dreams. The stone gives peace of mind. (see Gem Healing) When drunk in poison, it is thought to expel the poison and render the barren fruitful. Bacchus' head was frequently engraved on it since this god was a favorite with the Roman women.

Amethyst is a variety of quartz, but differs from the common quartz chiefly because of its violet to purple coloring. It is the birthstone for February. The stone is common in Europe and Scotland with some of the finest specimens being found in India, Sri Lanka , and Brazil. A.G.H.

Sources: 15, "Amethyst"; 70, 197; 81, 22-23.

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