Few stones have the knowable, celebrated, interesting history that Amethyst has. Pre-modern man’s eye was always drawn to the color purple, as it rarely occurs in nature.
The one exception being the grape, from which wine comes from. “Amethyst” literally means “not drunk” in Greek, and the popular myth goes that a lascivious Dionysus was chasing a maiden who called out to the goddess Artemis for protection. When Artemis turned her to solid quartz, Dionysus wept tears of red wine which permanently colored the crystal purple.
We say “popular myth” because sources indicate this legend was invented during the French Renaissance; classical Greek sources from 1000 years earlier say Amethyst was given to Dionysus by his Titan mother, Rhea. We DO know, however, that Ancient Greeks carried amethyst with them to prevent intoxication, and if it was too late for that: for the inevitable hangover. The notion that Amethyst aided with sobriety was carried over well into the Middle Ages.
Purple was such a rare and pleasing visual concept to the Ancients that amethyst—essentially “quartz with iron/magnesium ‘impurities’”—was revered as a precious gemstone, and generally reserved exclusively for nobility and priests. This all changed in the 18th century, when Amethyst was discovered in such abundance in Brazil that the stone was permanently “downgraded” to semi-precious status.
By the 19th century, Amethyst with distinct layers of clear Quartz, or “chevron” (Medieval heraldry term for diagonal or “V” striping) began being found. The visual aesthetic at the time relegated Chevron Amethyst to “junk” status—the marbling effect was viewed as making the purple stone impure.
This is ironic, given it’s that visual contrast between the Amethyst and Quartz components that makes Chevron Amethyst so stunning. It could be said that our modern aesthetic, in the Age of Aquarius, is more highly-evolved than those who came before.
That being said, the juxtaposition of light and dark, as well as the notion that previous peoples might not have thought much of this hybrid, makes Chevron Amethyst an excellent stone for racial integration. If you’re having issues with close-minded people, bigotry or intolerance--- especially where integration and diversity are seen as musts—Chevron Amethyst is an excellent tool for meditation and visualization.
Dreading the holidays with your racist family members? Give them Chevron Amethyst and tell them that 100 years ago it was considered junk. Point out the visual contrast, and ask them if they think it’s beautiful; the human eye would be hard-pressed to say No.
Healers back this metaphysical logic up; crystal therapists rave about Chevron Amethyst’s ability to remove stuck, stigmatic thinking and for dealing with difficult family members. It’s also noted as a means of bridging the emotional with the intellectual.
Visually, the alternating layers prompt us to examine the deeper layers to our spirit, as well as to be grateful for the steps we’ve taken on our own personal evolution.