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Green Diamonds – Pros, Cons and Buying Tips

Green diamond round shape in blue background

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Green diamonds are one of the most popular diamond colors and are extremely rare, precious and highly sought after. Naturally, all this makes green diamonds quite pricey too, so they are not ideal for people on a strict budget. Still, if you can afford even a small green diamond for your engagement ring you can end up with a truly unique and captivating piece of jewelry. Here’s what you need to know about buying green diamonds.

What Are Green Diamonds and How Do They Get Their Color?

The cause of natural green diamonds’ color is almost as fascinating and unique as their appearance. These gorgeous gemstones owe their color to the radiation-exposed rock formations where the diamonds grow. This radiation is usually caused by uranium or thorium and as the radioactive materials decay, they emit a certain radiation that enters the growing diamond crystal.

Once this happens, the radiation knocks the growing diamond’s electrons and carbon atoms and changes their position in the stone’s crystal lattice. This then changes the way the diamond reflects light and it becomes green in color. Depending on how much radiation the diamond was exposed to it may be that just the surface layer of the stone turns green or that all of it assumes this color. The deeper the green hues go, the more valuable the diamond is.

This makes the cause for green diamonds’ color arguably much more interesting than the origin of most other diamond colors which only adds even more to their charm. And, not to worry – the radiation we’re talking about here is completely natural, faint, and harmless for people so the only price we have to pay for owning a green diamond is purely monetary.

The Different Intensity Levels of Green Diamond Color

Fancy green diamonds with truly intense color are one of the most captivating sights in the jewelry world. The more “knocked” electrons these diamonds have inside them, the richer their color is and the higher their value.

As with most other colored diamonds, green diamonds’ color intensity is determined by the following scale:

Faint, Very Light, Light, Fancy Light, Fancy, Fancy Dark, Fancy Intense, Fancy Vivid, Fancy Deep

The first three grades are very faint, to the point that you may not even notice a green hue. Take this faint green round cut diamond for example. It’s hard to see any color on this.

The other six grades from Fancy Light to Fancy Deep, however, are true colored diamonds and grow in beauty, value, and price with each next grade.

Aside from the color intensity scale, green diamonds’ value also fluctuates depending on whether or not there are any secondary colors in them. The most common secondary colors for green diamonds are yellow, brown, and blue, with yellow and brown hues being undesirable and blue-green diamonds being valuable. Nevertheless, pure green diamonds are the most highly valued type.

Green diamonds and Cut, Color and Clarity

Color is the most important factor in a green diamond’s value and the cut of the stone is often chosen to maximize the rough and the color. For this reason, cuts such as the radiant, marquise, emerald, and cushion cuts are much more popular for green and other colored diamonds than they are for colorless stones. Still, the ever-popular round cut, as well as oval and pear cut also work quite well here.

Because green diamonds are so rare, inclusions don’t tend to bring the value of the stone down. If the diamond has good color, it will maintain its value regardless of having inclusions. Also, the richer the color of the stone is, the more irrelevant its clarity becomes because the intense color tends to hide otherwise undesirable inclusions.

Green Diamond Rarity and Value

As one of the top 6 most popular gemstones on the market, green diamonds’ value is undisputed. Especially natural and pure green diamonds with a truly intense color can be ridiculously hard to find. Certain emeralds can be more expensive than the more transparent green diamonds but even emeralds can’t compare with a Fancy Deep green diamond. The sparkle of the diamond, together with its brighter color and its rarity put it higher than all other green gemstones.

Radiant-cut green diamond closeup isolated

Radiant cut fancy intense yellowish green diamond. Check Price Here.

The radiant cut diamond featured above is only 2.13 carats but has a beautiful green hue with some yellowish tones. The price is extremely high and is reflective of the value of green diamonds.

Best Ring Designs for Green Diamonds

A green diamond deserves to be placed in a stunning setting to make the most of its rare beauty. Green works well with any metal color and looks stunning when set in rose or yellow gold. However, white metals give it a stylish, contemporary look.

Adding a halo or side stones adds sparkle and detail to a green diamond.  The white color excels at contrasting and accenting the beautiful green color of these stones.

Green diamonds are excellent options for engagement rings because of their unique color, value and durability. With a perfect 10 on the Mohs scale, diamonds are hard, tough gemstones for everyday wear.

Because finding a ready-made green diamond is difficult with the limited options available, we recommend searching on James Allen’s green diamond inventory and pairing your chosen stone with one of their many stunning settings.

Best Alternatives for Green Diamonds

If a green diamond doesn’t suit your budget, here are some budget-friendly options:

Synthetic Green Diamonds

Scientists and gemologists have looked for over a century for ways how to artificially grow green diamonds or how to treat yellow or lightly colored diamonds into green ones. And they have been successful!

Modern synthetic green diamonds are lab-grown in the same way natural green diamonds grow, only in a controlled environment and much faster as well. The end result is that they look exactly like natural fancy green diamonds but are much more affordable.

The other synthetic alternative are non-green diamonds that are irradiated with low-energy electron beams that change the structure of their crystal lattice and cause them to “turn green”. These green diamonds also look just like their natural counterparts and are also significantly cheaper.

Another variation you can see is yellow or colorless diamonds that are coated with a green coating but we’d really advise against those – they are the most budget-friendly option but they don’t look as good as the other options and their surface coating doesn’t last more than several years or a decade at best.

Gemstones that Look Like Green Diamonds

Some of the natural green gemstones you might want to consider as alternatives to green diamonds include stones such as green alexandrite, green apatite, green diopside, green tourmaline, green garnet, green peridot, green sapphire, and most people’s favorite – green emerald.

Green sapphire engagement ring

Green sapphire ring by Aurora Designer. Check Price Here.

Green emerald oval shape

Green emerald gemstone. Check Price Here.

Of those, emeralds, sapphires, and garnets are the best and most valuable alternatives to green diamonds for engagement rings while most of the others can still work well for other everyday jewelry. At the end of the day, none of them can compare to the hardness, rarity or beauty of a green diamond, but that’s to be expected.

Meaning and Symbolism of Green Diamonds

Green diamonds are associated with the symbolism often attributed to the color green. As such, they symbolize beginnings, growth, prosperity, abundance, and success. They’re ideal for nature lovers as they resemble the beauty of the outdoors.

Green diamonds promote relaxation, peace and growth. They are said to bring good fortune and love to the wearer, as well as vitality and the ability to grant wishes. They are also said to slowly and gently heal the wearer of the maliciousness he or she may be accumulating throughout the day.

Wrapping Up…

If you’re lucky enough to own a green diamond, you’ll know how rare and beautiful they are. Green diamonds are stunning gemstones and make for beautiful jewelry.

Click here to start browsing green diamonds.