Amethyst is a member of the quartz family of gemstones, which also includes yellow citrine, green prasiolite, smoky quartz, rose quartz and rock crystal. All of these gems are crystals of silicon dioxide and are only separated by color. When the crystals are microscopic in size, a whole different set of gemstone can be added. Microcrystalline quartzes include chalcedony, jasper, agate, bloodstone, tigereye and black onyx.
Amethyst has been known and used for adornment since ancient times. While the most well known myths revolve around cures for intoxication, amethyst was also used to protect against snakebite, quell excessive stomach acid, beautify the skin, and even combat insect bites. In Greek mythology, a young nymph named Amethystos was being pursued by Dionysis. In her distress, she called out to Artemis for help. Apparently the obvious solution back then was to turn her into stone. When Dionysis saw what happened, he felt remorse and his tears turned the statue purple.
Quartz is seven in hardness so amethyst is a fairly durable stone and can be used in all types of jewelry. With its rich, distinctive color and affordable price, amethyst makes a great addition to any wardrobe.