February’s beautiful purple birthstone has been celebrated by civilizations since 25,000 BCE. The word amethyst comes from the Greek, meaning “not intoxicated”, a reference to the belief that the stone protects its owner from drunkenness. Since drunken behavior is associated with a muddy mind, high emotions, and clumsy decisions, amethyst is viewed as an antidote, promoting clear thinking, deep contemplation, and emotional stability.
Amethyst is mined in locations all over the world, including the Mazatzal Mountains to the east of Fountain Hills where amethyst arrowheads have been found. Spaniards found the deposit in the Four Peaks area in the 18th century and shipped large amounts to their homeland. From there, the gems found their way into the crown jewels of five countries.
The Four Peaks Mine is on 23 acres of private land, surrounded by a National Forest. It is located between the two southernmost peaks and can be viewed with binoculars or a telescope in the afternoons. The only way to get there is by a 4.5-mile hike or helicopter.
Cecile Storer and her husband purchased the mine in 1963 and she operated the House of Amethyst store in Fountain Hills for years. She donated the largest known amethyst specimen in North America to the River of Time Museum, weighing an estimated 500 pounds.
Sami Jack of Sami Fine Jewelry started working with mine owner Kurt Cavano when he bought it in 1994. Her store has earned a reputation for selling the finest amethyst in all of Arizona.
“The amethyst from this mine rivals Siberian amethyst, which is considered the standard of the gem trade,” says Sami. “When I look at Four Peaks, I think of the famous lyrics, ‘purple mountain majesties’.”
Before the Bush Fire burned it in 2020, Sami’s offered annual tours of the mine. Visitors arrived by helicopter where they had million-dollar views of the Lower Verde River Valley and the entire Valley of the Sun. They also bring miners into the store for events where they talk about this semiprecious stone.
You can learn more about Four Peaks Amethyst and the history of the mine at SamiFineJewelry
. Visit the store at 16704 E. Avenue of the Fountains #101.