Amethyst is the purple variety of quartz. Its intense purple is rare and sought after because most amethysts are very pale. These amethysts of exceptional quality often come from Brazil or Uruguay.
Amethyst got its name from its use against drunkenness and excess. In the past it was sometimes used as a chalice to protect against possible poisoning attempts at banquets, it is the stone of the popes symbolically it represents spirituality and abstinence from vices