Amethyst is the most highly prized variety of quartz and if not for its widespread availability, would be very expensive. With its luscious color, it is the official birthstone for February and one of our best-selling gemstones. Amethyst is formed in silica-rich liquids deposited in gas cavities (geodes) in lava. It occurs in crystalline masses, but the crystals are generally not well developed, so they are generally found as clusters of crystal points. Though geodes are the best place to find amethysts, they also sometimes grow as stalactites. The stone's name is derived from the Greek word amethystos, meaning "not drunken," because people of ancient times believed it to protect the wearer from drunkenness. For this reason, wine goblets often were carved from it! Most bead-quality amethysts are a medium purple, but sometimes we have deep royal purple amethysts, lab-grown amethyst beads, striped cape amethyst, and lavender amethyst. Some amethysts will lose their color with prolonged exposure to sunlight, so store them away from direct exposure to help maintain their rich purple. Learn more about Amethyst in our Gemstone Index.