The Legend of Amethyst
The legend of the origin of amethyst comes from the Greeks. Dionysus(Bacchus,) the god of wine, celebration, intoxication and joviality, was angered one day by an insult from a mortal who refused him acknowledgment. Enraged, Dionysus vowed to unleash his fury upon all mortals who did not partake in his gifts of wine and drunkenness. Unsuspecting Amethyst, a beautiful young maiden on her way to pay tribute to the goddess Diana appeared and was detained by the wrathful god. Dionysus summoned two fiercely voracious tigers to devour the youth and sat back with his wine to watch. Amethyst cried out to Diana. When Diana saw what was about to transpire she quickly transformed the young mortal into a statue of pure white crystalline quartz to protect her from Dionysus’ tigers.
At the sight of the beautiful statue, Dionysus was moved with pity and realized the ruthlessness of his actions and began to weep with sorrow. As the tears dripped into his goblet Dionysus collapsed and the tear-tainted wine ran out onto the stone from the tipped cup. The white stone then absorbed the color from the wine creating the stone now called amethyst.
The name “amethyst” comes from the Greek meaning “not drunken,” and amethyst has long been considered to be a strong antidote against drunkenness. Wine goblets were often carved from it, and the gemstone still symbolizes sobriety to this day.