#sparklify: Amethyst The Sobriety Stone

Welcome to #sparklify. A new series dedicated to sparklifying your lives with fun facts and humor on all things gem and mineral related.

It’s February. So let’s talk about amethyst, the month’s birthstone.

Amethyst is a pretty but not uncommon gemstone. But before they became widespread, amethysts were considered as valuable as diamonds, rubies, sapphires, and emeralds. They were also believed to hold a very special power: sobriety. The word amethyst comes from the Greek ametusthos, which means “not intoxicated.”

Boy, if I only had a penny for every time I left the amethyst cup at home on a Friday night – sure could have used one last weekend at a friend’s traditional Thai wedding where herb-infused local liquor was the drink du jour. Congrats, J&B! But I digress . . .

Amethyst the sobriety stone #sparklify

From writings, we know that the ancients decorated wine goblets with the gem or sometimes carved entire goblets from them to prevent imbibers from inebriation. I know what you’re thinking: those silly ancients with their superstitions. But before you go judging, I can offer a simple explanation: because of the saturated purple hue of the stone, it was used to hold watered-down wine, fooling the drinker into believing the stone had a special sobriety power. And that’s how the moniker ‘amethyst the sobriety stone’ stuck. Pretty sneaky, ancients!

Ok, so I’ve known this juicy tidbit on amethyst for a while but have never actually seen an example of an ancient amethyst cup. I would love it if you guys could point me to a source if you know of one and I will share it here. I know you guys are dying to see one too!

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