Amethyst is the purple variety of the mineral quartz. The color purple has long been associated with royalty so its no surprise that amethyst has been highly prized throughout history. Amethyst ranges from a pale lilac, referred to as Rose de France, to medium lavender-purple to intense deep purple. Prized by ancient Greeks, amethyst was believed to prevent intoxication, hence its name: amethystos from a- (not) and methysko (intoxicate). This regal gemstone is the birthstone for February, is designated as the 6th wedding anniversary and is the official state gemstone of South Carolina.