Wine & the Amethyst: Not just a paperweight!

Ever wondered why the amethyst is often found in wine cellars?

Considered a stone of friendship, amethyst is said to protect its wearer against seduction and evil spirits, as well as enhancing clarity of the mind.

The violet and purple varieties of quartz provide the most prized, and in many respects, the most interesting of the large family of quartz minerals. Amethyst, the name by which this variety of quartz is known, is of ancient derivation.

Pliny stated that the gem was so-called from the color being near to, but not quite, reaching that of wine.

The name is also said to have derived from the Greek word ‘Amenthustos’, which is translated as ‘not drunken’ and was given to the stone from the curious belief that a wearer would not suffer from excess consumption of alcoholic liquors. (Gullible Greeks!)

A pretty legend in regard to the amethyst has been happily treated in French verse.

Bacchus DionysusThe god Bacchus (Roman name for Dionysus), offended at some neglect that he had suffered, was determined to avenge himself. He declared that the first person he should meet when he and his train passed along should be devoured by his tigers.

Fate willed that this luckless mortal was a beautiful and fair maiden named Amethyst, who was on her way to worship at the shrine of Diana.

As the ferocious beasts sprang towards her, she sought the protection of the goddess, and was saved from a worse fate by being turned into a pure white stone.

Recognizing the miracle and repenting of his cruelty, Bacchus poured the juice of the grape as a libation over the petrified body of the maiden, thus giving the stone the beautiful violet hue that so charms the beholder’s eye.

Today, it is common to come across amethyst colored goblets and tinted wine glasses. Let the brilliance of your wine shine through using crystal stemware.

For further information about the amethyst:  The Mythology of the Amethyst