Unique Gift Ideas

Written by Serena Berger
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Crystals make exquisite and unique gifts in many contexts. They may be purely decorative--sparkling little confections that accent an accessory or memento, or totally unnecessary but nevertheless delightful suncatchers that make you smile every time they fill your room with dancing rainbows. They can also be quite meaningful in a spiritual or metaphysical context, as some people believe that crystals have tremendous powers and can be used to bring good energy to us and the people we care about.

There are many different types of crystals, and their costs can vary greatly. Emeralds are the most valuable crystals in the world, if you judge by the price they can command on the open market alone. Not even diamonds are as rare, or as difficult to find in large, flawless varieties. Most of the precious stones used frequently in the fine jewelry industry are technically crystals, but they are tiny portions of crystals which look very different from how a large hunk (or geode) of the same crystal would look. For example, a uniformly rich 2 carat sapphire that is absolutely free of any inclusions and faceted by a jeweler who is going to set it in platinum and charge you a few thousand dollars for it is nothing like what you would see if you broke open a rock and saw jagged, flawed, rough sapphire crystals inside.

Crystals for Healing

The people who believe in the metaphysical properties of crystals will tell you that a raw chunk of "flawed" crystal can do a lot more for you than a tiny stone that's been worked over by countless hands and fashioned into a piece of expensive jewelry. If you've ever had the experience of a crystal calling to you, you'll know that it doesn't have much in common with the experience of a three stone anniversary band calling to you. Maybe it feels a little like it's humming when you touch it or it makes your fingers tingle a little bit. Maybe it feels warmer than everything around it. Maybe you find yourself closing your fingers around it and then wanting to close your eyes and relax. It's a very personal experience, and others can approximate a description of what it is like for them, but you probably won't be a true believer in crystal power until or unless you have your own experience with a crystal claiming you.

That doesn't mean, however, that you can't choose a crystal gift for someone who doesn't believe in any kind of magic. If you are giving a gift to a friend who has been a little down, you might choose a crystal that is thought to encourage optimism, or draw positive forces to the person wearing it. Your friend can simply enjoy a beautiful amethyst pendant, and you don't even have to tell her that you're hoping it will help bring her courage and happiness, or enable her to overcome an addictive behavior.

There are a number of less costly crystals which make beautiful jewelry, so they make a great gift when you don't have a lot to spend. A ruby the size of a lentil would be a luxury many of us would never be able to afford, but a garnet twice as big can have an equally stunning, deep, and sensuous red hue and cost in the double digits. Not only that, but it's also supposed to deter those who might mean you harm, and help you recover physical strength if you've been sick, tired, or depressed.

Crystals for Love and Wealth

It's probably no surprise that most people who are becoming interested in crystals for magic want to know which ones will help them out with money and love. Generally, quartz--rose quarts in particular--and topaz are thought to draw love into your life and open up your own heart and mind to receive it. Fire opals and peridots are thought to be particularly effective in attracting wealth. As for diamonds--sorry, folks, all they do is take your money. Actually, that's not quite fair--they are thought to be able to enhance psychic energy and spiritual awareness, but only if you can meditate on a diamond crystal without any worldly thoughts of its value inhibiting your use of the crystal's pure energy.

If you're not so thrilled with all this spiritual talk, we can do a quick 180 and talk about man-made crystals. These exist for no other reason than to be beautiful, an objective at which they excel. Swarovski is universally regarded as the best manufacturer of synthetic crystals, and for over 100 years, this Austrian family has developed the best, more brilliant, and beautifully cut crystals for use in jewelry and objects d'art.

Many of the stores which offer crystals also offer other items which might be qualified as magical or "new age," but don't have to be used that way if you like them simply for aesthetic reasons. Blank books with beautiful covers, artwork, pottery, porcelain, or CDs of restful music or environmental sounds are the kinds of things that often get sold by purveyors of fine crystals. Candles, too, are very popular both for magic and home decoration, and always make great gifts. The best unique gifts are often things people would never get for themselves, but which they have always looked at and thought, "That's so beautiful. If only I didn't have so many practical concerns to attend to first ... ."

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