The scarab beetle was an exceedingly popular symbol in the art of Ancient Egypt, thought to represent the sun god, Ra. Ancient Egyptians believed that the scarab beetle rolling its ball of dung across the dessert mirrored the journey of the sun across the sky from day to night. As the beetle laid its eggs within the dung, it became a symbol of rebirth and regeneration. The use of carnelian as a material also linked to the sun god, Ra, as the stone’s fiery colour was connected to the solar cult.
The name “amethyst” comes from the Greek, ‘amethystos‘, meaning “not intoxicated” (‘ἀ- a-, “not” and μεθύσκω ‘methysko‘ / μεθύω ‘methyo’, “intoxicate”). The Egyptians seem to have held similar beliefs in the protective qualities of the beautiful stone. They believed the stone had talismanic properties against malign influences. The Egyptians would have sourced their amethyst from Nubia, which was a province of Egypt, and the stone was a firm favourite among the pharaohs.