Rock Corner - Amethyst
The quartz family includes many minerals that are popular in semi precious jewelry and carvings. The violet to purple is known as amethyst, but other varieties can be yellow ( citrine ), pink ( rose quartz ), colourless ( rock crystal ), or display a cat's eye or banded effect ( tiger's eye and agate ).

The name derives from the Greek word amethystos, which translates as " not drunken ", since the stone was believed to protect a wearer from the effects of alcohol.

It has a hardness of 7. The colour may be more vivid in certain parts of the stone than others. The best colour gem quality stones are often given oval or mixed cuts and set as rings, pendants or ear-rings. Larger crystals with more inclusions may be used as beads or carved as ornamental figures. Where a piece contains both purple and yellow colours it is known as Ametrine.

Amethyst is found in many countries, but the main sources are Brazil, Uraguay, the US, Madagascar, Russia, India, Australia and S. Africa.

In crystal healing it is regarded as a stone of spirituality and contentment with many beneficial effects on the mind and body. It is associated with the astrological signs of Pisces and Aquarius.  
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