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amethyst

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Uploaded on Feb 22, 2010

Leonardo Da Vinci wrote that amethyst was able to dissipate evil thoughts and quicken the intelligence. Because amethyst was thought to encourage celibacy and symbolize piety, amethyst was very important in the ornamentation of catholic and other churches in the middle ages. It was, in particular considered to be the stone of bishops and bishops still often wear amethyst rings.

The Greek word "amethystos" may be translated as "not drunken", from Greek a-, not + methustos, intoxicated. Amethyst was considered to be a strong antidote against drunkenness, which is why wine goblets were often carved from it. The gemstone still symbolizes sobriety.

The legend of the origin of amethyst comes from greek myths. Dionysus, the god of intoxication, was angered one day by an insult from a mere mortal and swore revenge on the next mortal that crossed his path, creating fierce tigers to carry out his wish. Along came unsuspecting amethyst, a beautiful young maiden on her way to pay tribute to the goddess Diana. Diana turned Amethyst into a statue of pure crystalline quartz to protect her from the brutal claws. Dionysus wept tears of wine in remorse for his action at the sight of the beautiful statue. The god's tears stained the quartz purple, creating the amethyst we know today.

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