Amethyst is a variety of transparent quartz, used as a gemstone in jewelry. It is a deep clear violet or purple color, and has a hardness rating of 7 on the Moh's Scale. Russia is known for producing quality amethysts, and large quantities come from Brazil and Zambia. They are also found in Africa, Uruguay, Sri Lanka, in Canada and Mexico, and in the United States in Texas, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Maine.  The chemical name for Amethyst is Silicon Dioxide.  The word amethyst comes from the Greek word "amethystos" that means "not intoxicated",  and was probably due either to an (unproven) belief that it would keep the wearer from becoming drunk, or because of the deep purple wine color of the stone.  Amethyst is the birthstone for February.