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Gemstone Knowledge

How to pick the perfect amethyst

A practical guide to choosing the ideal amethyst for your engagement ring

Updated February 28, 2023

Choosing your amethyst

If you’re eyeing an amethyst for the center stone of your engagement ring, you’re probably wondering how to pick the right one for your needs. Unlike diamonds, colored gemstones don’t have a standardized grading system for you to know you’re getting what the industry considers “the best of the best.” But don’t fear! There are still some guidelines you can follow for choosing an excellent stone. Most amethysts on the market today are high quality, so you don’t really have to worry too much about stone quality and can typically stick to the fun questions like:

  • What shade of purple do you want for your stone?
  • What shape or cut is best for amethyst, and for your wants?
  • What size stone should you get and how much will it cost?

Don’t worry, we’ll take you step-by-step through the major decisions you’ll need to make when choosing an amethyst! Color is a great place to start, so let’s jump into the specifics of amethyst’s purple appeal.



Some gemstones have a whole rainbow of colors to choose from, but amethyst remains loyal to a few variations of purple. Most couples seeking an amethyst for their engagement ring choose that signature royal purple color, and there are plenty of top-quality stones with this hue to go around. Amethysts with deep purple hues and violet or red undertones are the most prized color variety, and while you may pay a little more for this particular coloration they’re still quite affordable.

If you’ve fallen for amethyst, you probably want a stone with one of these top colors, but there are a few options if you want something a little lighter. In addition to deep purples, amethyst can be light purple with pinkish or bronze undertones. These light purple hues are great if you want a subtle splash of purple color, and many couples adore their soft, romantic look. Lighter stones are sometimes referred to as “Rose de France” amethysts, but this is just a term used to describe their color and doesn’t mean they’re any different when it comes to quality.


Where you’re going to find the largest difference in amethyst’s color is saturation. Saturation describes how intense a stone’s color is, and amethysts can come in dreamy pastels or have a purple color so deep that they almost look black! Luckily, most stones we offer have strong (but not too strong) saturation for a rich, concentrated purple that’s sure to have friends and family swooning. Think of the vibrant, velvety purple of regal robes or a plump, purple grape ready to be plucked from the vine—those are the kinds of purples we’re talking about!

While stones with strong saturation are the standard, some couples opt for amethysts with light or medium saturation instead. This is where you’ll find those pale purples–sometimes with violet undertones–that remind us of the soft purple of lilac or lavender flower petals. And while deeply saturated purples are the preferred colors among most amethyst lovers, our team can help you find something lighter, darker, or somewhere in between that speaks to you. All that matters is you love your center stone!


While the round cut is ideal for diamonds because it provides the most sparkle and hides imperfections, amethysts look amazing in any cut! Don’t get us wrong: amethysts still sparkle in that classic round brilliant cut, but they also look dazzling in fancy cuts that some couples choose to avoid for diamonds. For amethysts, these silhouettes give light more time to bounce around the stone, giving their purple color a chance to really shine through. Amethysts can be found in most fancy shapes, and there are even a few custom cuts for a one-of-a-kind display of those purple hues.

You may want to look at different brilliant and step cut amethysts if you don’t have a particular shape in mind, as the type of cut you choose will highlight different facets of your stone’s color. Brilliant cut shapes foster amethyst’s subtle sparkle, deepening the hue of lightly toned stones and giving dimension to darker purple hues. And, if you love shallow brilliant cuts like oval and marquise, they’re known to show off the color of deeply saturated amethysts. In contrast, step cut stones focus on showing off your amethyst’s color with long, rectangular facets that give small glimpses of sparkle as you move the stone around. Finally, if you’re looking for that classic engagement ring look, there’s always that round brilliant cut that’s great for showing off the color and sparkle of any gemstone!

Size and price

In addition to being fairly easy to source, amethysts can come in surprisingly large sizes. Seriously, we’re talking 10 carat rocks if you’re looking for something extravagant! However, we know most of us don’t have the desire or the finger strength to lug around a stone that size on a daily basis, and we have plenty of 1-2 carat sized amethysts as well as smaller and larger sizes for you to choose from. We’ve already mentioned that amethysts are relatively affordable, but it’s time to crunch some numbers!

Amethyst doesn't increase in price exponentially like diamonds and some other stones do, but instead goes up at a gradual slope that’s much more approachable. A 1 carat amethyst sells for about $125-200, and a 5 carat stone can go for around $250-600, compared to diamonds where the difference between a 1 and 5 carat stone could be a downpayment on a car. And if you can’t get that 10 carat amethyst out of your head, you’re looking at a price around $300-900. Most amethysts are also eye-clean, so it’s easier to find large, high-quality stones for an affordable price without having to do hours of research. The beauty of CustomMade is that our team can do most of that work for you, so you can focus on planning that perfect proposal!

Other factors to consider

Setting style

So what metal should you choose for an amethyst engagement ring? Purple may seem like a tough color to match when it comes to choosing a setting, but it’s more versatile than you might think! Although some couples love the icy purple tones a white metal like platinum or white gold can bring out in amethyst, you don’t need to limit yourself to neutral metals. For instance, yellow gold accentuates the saturated color of deep purple amethysts to create a regal aesthetic fit for a queen. Rose gold engagement settings are also a popular choice for amethyst–particularly for lighter stones with pink or violet undertones–since the rosy metal makes these hints of pinkish color pop for a sweet and airy take on the traditional amethyst ring. Whether you choose a simple solitaire setting or something a little more luxe like a halo, three stone, or toi et moi design, your amethyst is sure to be the star of your engagement ring!

Pairing with other gemstones

So what colors do you pair with a purple amethyst? Well, any ones you want, really! An amethyst by itself is lovely, but pair it with white stones like diamonds or moissanites and you’ve got yourself a stunning amethyst engagement ring that will surely turn heads. Speaking of white stones, amethyst also complements light, opaque stones like opals and pearls, accenting the hints of color in their subtle shine.

Much like the Crown Jewels themselves, amethysts look dazzling when paired with both bright, contrasting colors like green and orange and similar cool hues like blues and deep reds. You can also create a sparkling cluster setting with a variety of shades for a floral bouquet appeal. Unlike some colored gemstones, small amethysts can still have highly saturated color, so if you want just a splash of purple for your engagement ring, you can find those rich purple hues in accent stones as well. Don’t forget to color match your amethysts if you’re choosing more than one stone! Our team at CustomMade can help you pick the perfect stones for a seamless royal purple display.

Be thorough in your stone search

You may get to focus on the fun questions when choosing an amethyst, but that doesn’t mean all these decisions won’t leave your head spinning! We get it, there’s a lot to process, so keep in mind that the most important factor in selecting your ideal amethyst is that you love it. After all, you (or your future fiancé) is the one that’s going to be wearing it every day for the rest of your (or their) life! So, much like finding the right partner, you definitely want to find the stone that gives you that “forever love” feeling.

While there’s no right or wrong answer regarding which amethyst is “the one” for you, make sure you think about the color, shape, and level of sparkle you want from your stone. Our team at CustomMade is eager to help you find your ideal amethyst, and if you’re set on top-quality color they can even pick a stone for you to save some time. Or, if you’d like to see a few options or have a special request, they can assist with that as well! Reach out today to start your custom engagement ring design journey.

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