AM'ETHYST, n. L. amethystus; Gr. which the Greeks supposed to be formed from a neg. and to inebriate, from some supposed quality in the stone of resisting intoxication. Plin. 37.9, mentions an opinion that it takes its name from its color approaching that of wine, but not reaching it.
A sub-species of quartz, of a violet blue color, of different degrees of intensity. It generally occurs crystallized in hexahedral prisms or pyramids; also in rolled fragments, composed of imperfect prismatic crystals. Its fracture is conchoidal or splintery. It is wrought into various articles of jewelry.
AM'ETHYST, in heraldry, signifies a purple color. It is the same, in a nobelman's escutcheon, as purpure, in a gentleman's and mercury, in that of a prince.