Amethyst is the purple variety of quartz. The name "amethyst" comes from the Greek and means "not drunken." This was maybe due to a belief that amethyst would ward off the effects of alcohol. Although it must always be purple to be amethyst, it can and does have a wide range of purple shades. Amethyst can occur as long prismatic crystals that have a six sided pyramid at either end or can form as druzes that are crystalline crusts that only show the pointed terminations. However, amethyst is not the same everywhere.
Different localities can produce a unique amethyst to that particular region or even to that particular mine. Experts can often identify the source mine that a particular amethyst came from. The key to this is the specimen's colour, shape of crystal, inclusions, associations and character of formation. The colour purple is traditionally the colour of royalty and amethyst has been used since the dawn of history to adorn the rich and powerful monarchs and rulers.