What Is the Difference Between a Pendant, an Amulet and a Medallion?

by Mercedes Valladares ; Updated September 28, 2017

Reorganize your jewelry box separating your pendants, amulets and medallions.

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Stop looking at your accessories with bouts of confusion and get clarity about your pendants, amulets and medallions. Because necklace, bracelet and earring styles vary, ornamental attachments categorize the pieces into different classifications. Get to know the differences between these pieces to select appropriate necklines and outfits that highlight the accessory or accentuate your ensemble. You can also reorganize your jewelry drawers or cases, separating your items into pendant, amulet and medallion categories, easing your styling process with these accessories.

It's All About the Pendant

If your necklace has a large or small-sized embellishment suspended from the chain or link, you have a pendant. Often encased in metal, wire or pendant backing, you can pick open necklines to ensure that the dangling accessory doesn't tangle or snag with your top. This is especially important because pendants vary in shape, such as teardrops, ovals or funky squares, spheres or rectangles. Because the trim hangs freely from your neckline, it also often shifts your eye to your neckline and away from other areas of your outfit.

Good Vibrations

The amulet, a generally small object, charm or ornamental accessory is believed to be filled with mystical and magical powers. Because folklore defines the charm as a small object that warrants special protection or power to the wearer throughout the day, you can wear it as a magical protector, wish enhancer or as a decorative, conversational piece. You can add a whimsical charm -- often shaped in an animal form -- to your bracelet or wear the amulet as a necklace or cocktail ring.

Medal Me Gorgeous

Create a striking neckline wearing a decorative medallion necklace. These round medal ornaments are generally thick in texture with an engraved emblem, logo or insignia. Jewelry designers also use this round shape as inspiration to make medallion-inspired fabric jewelry with suede, leather or beaded fabric. The medal shape as also evolved into show-stopping medallion-style bib necklaces, bracelets and earrings. Be mindful of weight if you plan to wear medal-style earrings that can pull on your ear lobes.

Rock Your Accessories

Pair your pendants, amulets and medallions with outfits trimmed with embellishments that resemble the accessory for a cohesive look. For instance, pair a blazer with a chevron-striped sleeve cuff border along with a chevron-style pendant in silver and gold. You can also wear funky, jeweled pendants with a color-blocked, V-neckline dress and pumps. Sport your lucky amulet cocktail ring with a floral printed sheath or geometric pattern shift dress. Highlight your statement-making medallion necklace or bracelet with a shaped-neckline tunic and pant ensemble. If your medallion has silver tones, add ankle booties with silver studs and exposed zippers for a modern twist. If a boho vibe is your groove, wear a medallion-shaped crochet and suede choker with a tank, maxi skirt and sandals that has medal-style trims.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images

About the Author

Mercedes Valladares is the founder of M721Organics and has been an independent designer for over 15 years. Her work experience commenced during college with manufacturers based in New York and Hong Kong. Her education includes LIM College, International Fine Arts College and design certification from the Paris Fashion Institute. She produces eco-crafting videos and writes recycling articles online.