As of 2014, most amethyst comes from Brazil and Uruguay. Before amethyst was discovered in these locations, amethyst was mined in Sri Lanka, Germany, India and the Ural Mountains in Russia.
The name derives from the Greek word "a-methy-stos" which means "one that does not get drunk". It was believed that amethyst would protect people from getting drunk. Wine goblets were carved from the gemstone. The association could also be from the fact that amethyst resembles red wine in color. Remy Belleau created a myth of a young maiden named Amethyste who was pursued by Bacchus, the god of wine. Amethyste prayed to the gods to remain chaste. The goddess Diana turned her into a white stone. Bacchus poured red wine over the stone which turned the crystals purple.