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Amethyst (February birthstone)

According to Greek mythology, Amethyst was created by the god Dionysus as he wept over the statue of a fair maiden. Legend has it that Dionysus was in a terrible mood and vowed to have his vicious tigers attack the next mortal who crossed his path. As fate would have it, a fair maiden by the name of Amethyst was next to cross his path, and as his tigers started to attack, the goddess Artemis turned Amethyst into a figure of pure quartz to keep her from being mauled. Dionysus was so upset by his actions - he cried over Amethyst and turned the crystal to the color of deep purple, creating the first amethyst gem.

The Greek word amethustos means not drunken and Greeks believed amethyst would prevent intoxication, so they carved wine goblets from the stone to keep from getting drunk. Ancient Egyptians used it as gemstone and medieval European soldiers wore amethyst amulets for protection during battles.

Amethyst can be found in shades from deep purple to light lavender. Since it is a form of quartz, it is piezoelectric, which means it creates an electric charge when rubbed or heated.

Accent Jewelers buys amethyst rings, earrings, bracelets and necklaces. Stop by our store in East Memphis in the iBank building next door to Whole Foods at 5050 Poplar Avenue.

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