Amethyst is the gem of sobriety and peace. Its name comes from the Greek "amethystos" which means "not drunken." They served wine in amethyst goblets during long banquets because they believed this wine-colored gem had the power to keep guests sober.
Since the middle ages, Bishop's rings have been set with amethyst as a symbol of piety and celibacy. Leonardo da Vinci wrote that amethyst has the power to protect against evil thoughts and to sharpen the intelligence. Tibetan Buddhists use amethyst rosaries to enhance the peace and tranquility of meditation.
The legend of the origin of amethyst comes from Greek myth. One day when Dionysus, the god of intoxication, was angry at he swore revenge on the first person who crossed his path. Along came unsuspecting Amethyst, a beautiful young maiden on her way to pay tribute to the goddess Diana. When faced with the tigers Dionysus had unleashed, the girl prayed to Diana, who turned her into a statue of pure crystalline quartz. At the sight, Dionysus wept tears of wine in remorse. The god's tears stained the quartz purple, creating the gem we know today.