Choosing gifts can be a big challenge, especially if you’re shopping for someone who tends to prefer a more laid back look or less ostentatious gifts.
Handmade jewelry is a fantastic gift, but choosing the right present can be a big problem if you don’t know the differences between stones and designs.
If you’ve always wanted to know more about how different natural stones and crystals compare, or how to choose the perfect stone for a natural stone jewelry gift, you’re in the right place.
Today, I’m going to focus on the difference between two of the most popular natural stones for jewelry?: Amethyst and Garnet.
Amethyst and Garnet Natural Stone Jewelry: Which Makes a Better Gift?
Before we start digging into the differences between Garnet and Amethyst natural stone jewelry, I want to make it clear that natural stone jewelry and fine jewelry, which is made with specifically cut and polished stones, are fairly different. While some of what I’m talking about today will also apply to find jewelry made with Garnet and Amethyst, not all of it will.
It’s also important to note that some of the most beautiful and striking forms of both of these crystals will never be used in fine jewelry.
That’s because fine jewelry requires a level of clarity in the stones that just isn’t found in Chevron Amethyst or some other forms of both of these stones. And yet, Chevron Amethyst, deep Raspberry Garnet, and many other natural presentations of these stones are some of the most beautiful formations you can get in each.
Key Information About Amethyst Natural Stone Jewelry
Amethyst is an interesting stone because, unlike Garnet, which comes in a wide range of colors but usually only a few shades of each, Amethyst is available in a lot of different shades, but only a single color!
Amethyst and Citrine are actually both chemically similar stones, and Citrine is what happens when already formed Amethyst crystals are exposed to a certain amount of heat after formation.
The color, pattern, and other qualities found in Amethyst depend both on the available minerals during formation, and also how quickly or slowly those minerals cooled, and how much time the stone had time to form crystals.
One of the reasons that Amethyst has so many different shades and patterns is the same reason that there are a lot of Amethyst geodes out there - Amethyst can form in a wide range of conditions!
Fortunately for artisan jewelers and jewelry lovers everywhere, Amethyst tends to be a strong hardy stone, no matter what circumstances it formed in.
The high hardness of this stone makes it suitable for everyday wear, means that it needs very little maintenance or cleaning, and can be shaped in many different ways.
Amethyst tends to come in shades of purple ranging from pale lilac to a deep violet, and may or may not have swirls or chevrons of White Quartz mixed in with the Amethyst.
As a note, inclusions of Quartz are considered a normal Amethyst formation, and don’t make a sample any less Amethyst than Amethyst that forms without Quartz.
In natural stone jewelry, Amethyst is widely used in earrings, necklaces, bracelets, and even tiaras, body jewelry, and more.
Key Information About Garnet Natural Stone Jewelry
Like Amethyst, Garnet is also a very hard stone. It has a wider range of hardness than Amethyst, but actually overlaps so that it can be both slightly softer and slightly harder than a typical Amethyst crystal.
Garnet’s hardness is important for Garnet jewelry artisans because it means that this stone is just as versatile as Amethyst, and can be used in a similarly wide range of jewelry.
That means that if you are looking for natural stone Garnet Jewelry gifts, you have just as much selection as Amethyst.
Most of the Garnet you’ll see in jewelry today is a classic dark red Garnet, or the Raspberry Garnet I tend to use in my Garnet jewelry. However, natural Garnets also come in orange, yellow, green, and even blue and black colors.
One of the reasons that Red Garnets are more common in jewelry is that Red is the most common natural color for this gem. It’s also because historically, other colors of Garnet were likely to be mistaken for Emeralds or Sapphires, and even Red Garnets have sometimes been mistaken for Rubies.
Here at Earth Song Jewelry I use Red Garnets both because that is what most people want and expect when they are buying Garnet jewelry, and also because the highest quality Garnets available in natural non-faceted stones are red.
Interestingly, while heated Amethyst is considered a different stone, Citrine, when the color changes, Blue Garnets are formed by a similar process but aren’t considered a different stone.
Blue Garnets are formed when a normal Garnet, or a stone rich in the minerals needed to form Garnets, is subjected to intense heat and pressure inside the Earth. When that heat and pressure gets significant enough, it forces the minerals to re-crystallize, which is the process that creates Blue Garnets.
That said, Blue and Green Garnets are both exceedingly rare, so most people won’t encounter these stones outside of a museum display.
Metaphysical and Chakra Associations with Amethyst and Garnet Stones
One of the reasons to buy Natural Stone jewelry over faceted fine jewelry is that natural stone jewelry is often thought to have stronger metaphysical benefits than faceted stones. The same is true of Chakra benefits from these stones.
Additionally, the passion and intent of the artisan crafting the jewelry is thought to help enhance the properties inherent in stones. Handmade goods are often infused with the creative energy of the creator, whether you think that’s just in the unique design of the jewelry or something more, that’s up to you.
That said, both Garnets and Amethyst have long been thought to have special properties by the people who work with and wear them. When you’re choosing a natural stone gift for someone in your life, looking at the metaphysical properties of each stone is one way to customize that gift to the recipient.
Amethyst Properties and Lore
Amethyst has a lot of mystical associations, in part because the color purple is also often associated with the mystical and magical. In addition to being February’s birthstone and a traditional gift for 6th and 17th wedding anniversaries, Amethyst is also associated with your Third Eye Chakra, and your Crown Chakra.
Respectively, your Third Eye Chakra is associated with clear vision, instincts, and understanding, while your Crown Chakra is the Chakra that binds all the others together, and is also your spiritual connection to the rest of the world.
Metaphysically, Amethyst is a protective stone thought to encourage positive emotions and creative passion. It’s also one of the stones strongly associated with Love, sometimes called the Love Stone, and thought to help wearers deepen their relationships and social connections of all kinds.
Amethyst is also thought to be helpful for identifying and removing toxic relationships and prioritizing the people who lift you up in life, instead of bringing you down.
Garnet Properties and Lore
Like Amethysts, Garnets have been seen as beautiful and revered stones basically as long as humanity has been finding these stones and crystals.
Garnets are January’s birthstone, and are a traditional gift for your 2nd wedding anniversary.
Garnets are strongly associated with your Crown Chakra, which is the connection of all your Chakras, but, interestingly, Garnets are also a Root Chakra stone, making them powerful for your spiritual and earthly connections, both.
Your Root Chakra is important for feeling secure and confident in the world, and as a support for that Chakra, natural Garnet jewelry can help you feel more confident and in control. Garnet is also thought to help alleviate feelings of fear and frustration by helping you channel that energy toward solutions rather than feeling trapped or stuck.
Interestingly, Garnet and Amethyst jewelry share another similarity, both are love stones. Garnet is symbolically connected to both romantic love and friendship, and thought to help you strengthen your bonds with other people.
Lastly, Garnets are thought to help with motivation and energy, helping you rekindle your creativity and making you more passionate about hobbies and projects.
Which Is A Better Gift: Garnet Or Amethyst Natural Stone Jewelry?
Alright, if you’ve read everything up to this point you probably know a lot more about Garnets and Amethysts, but that doesn’t necessarily tell you which stone is going to make a better present!
The truth is that both of these stones are widely appreciated and loved. You can find plenty of people who will readily name both Garnets and Amethysts as their favorite gemstone.
That said, there are a few ways you can narrow down which stone is going to make a better gift.
First, think about who you’re buying for. Were they both in January or February? If so, you might want to get them their birthstone (Garnets for January, Amethysts for February).
Do you know the recipient’s favorite color? If their favorite is purple or violet, Amethyst is probably a safe bet. If they tend to prefer shades of red or scarlet, Garnet is a good choice.
Since both of these stones are durable and well-suited to everyday wear, that is less of a concern when you’re choosing between these stones. Both are perfect for casual everyday wear.
Both stones are also well known and liked enough to be a good choice for more formal occasions.
You should also consider the design and other details besides the stones when you’re selecting a gift.
For instance, my Garnet earrings include my Garnets and Roses post earrings, which is a particularly good gift option for people who love roses or flowers in general. But I don’t use the same design for my Amethyst earrings. Similarly, I make Amethyst Pendulums earrings, but I don’t make that design with my Garnets.
Most jewelry artisans have some designs they make using some of their stones, and other designs that are better suited for different stones. If you see a design that looks like a perfect gift, you may be limited to the stones they have available for that design. Sometimes you can order custom jewelry made with those stones, but often the size and shape of different natural stone jewelry is only available in some stones.
It’s also worth thinking about what stones the recipient already has in their jewelry collection. Knowing what they have can help you pick stones they like. But, be careful of buying too much of any one stone. Someone who already has a lot of Amethyst in their jewelry collection might love Amethyst, but if they also like Garnets a Garnet gift might be a better option since it adds variety to their collection.
At the end of the day, both Garnets and Amethysts are beautiful stones and perfect for jewelry gifts. They are similar enough to work well for daily wear, and both have some important special meanings that can make them even more special to the people you love.