A semiprecious variety of crystallized quartz, purple or violet in color and used for jewelry. It occurs in the form of hexagonal crystals, and the color is attributed to traces of manganese or iron. One type of amethyst is the quartz variety (Occidental), whereas precious amethyst (Oriental) is a variety of corundum or sapphire. The name amethyst is taken from the Greek word a·meʹthy·stos (meaning “not to intoxicate”), which is employed in the Greek Septuagint to render the Hebrew word ʼach·la·mahʹ in Exodus 28:19 and 39:12.
Israel’s high priest wore an amethyst stone in the third position of the third row of stones on his embroidered “breastpiece of judgment.” (Ex 28:2, 15, 19, 21; 39:12) In his vision of “New Jerusalem,” John observed that the 12th foundation of the holy city’s wall was amethyst.—Re 21:2, 10, 19, 20.