Bacchus, the god of wine and conviviality, was angry because of some slight against him and swore revenge. He announced that the first mortal to come across his path would be eaten by tigers. Just at that moment along came the lovely maiden Amethyst, on her way to worship at the shrine of the goddess Diana. Diana saw what was happening and transformed Amethyst into stone to rescue her from a violent death. When Bacchus viewed the miracle, he repented and poured wine over the stone, staining it purple. This is the legendary creation of the gemstone amethyst.
The word "amethustos" means "not drunk." The ancient Greeks believed that whoever wore this stone would be protected against the intoxicating effect of wine. Whether or not the Greeks held the key to sobriety is open to question. Roman women, however, claimed the gem could keep their husbands faithful.