Green is a highly popular color for gemstones, sought after for its sophisticated and elegant look. While emeralds have been synonymous with the color “green”, there are over 100 types of green gems available to add to your jewelry collection.
Whether you’re looking for a birthstone or an alternative to the more precious and expensive stones, we’ve put together a list of twenty most popular green gemstone names used in jewelry. Let’s take a look.
- Green Gemstone List
- Assessing the Color and Quality of Green Gemstones
- Which Green Gemstone Is Right for Me?
- Wrapping Up
Green Gemstone List
Imperial Jadeite Jade Ring by Diamond N Jewelry. See it here.
One of the most valuable and culturally significant gemstones, jade can be traced back to ancient China (around 7000 years ago). It was thought to symbolize the purity of spirit and the clarity of mind. This gemstone got its name from the Spanish expression ‘piedra de ijada’ that translates as ‘stone of the pain in the side’, as a reference to the gemstone’s medicinal use in the past.
In the jewelry industry, there are two types of jade: jadeite and nephrite. The former is regarded as more valuable, while the latter is less expensive and tends to have a more muted color. The finest jade you can find in jewelry is known as “imperial jade”, which is a vibrant emerald-green color and is almost transparent.
Other varieties of jade include “apple jade” with its saturated yellowish-green color, and “kingfisher jade”, which is less vivid than imperial jade. Although these varieties aren’t of the same quality is imperial jade, they’re also highly valued.
Jadeite has a hardness of 6.5 to 7 on the Mohs scale whereas nephrite ranks at 6 to 6.5, which means it’s slightly softer. However, they’re exceptionally due to their compact composition than most other gemstones with the same hardness. In fact, you can hit the gem with a hammer without breaking it. These stones are often fashioned into beads and cabochons and are also carved to make eye-catching jewelry pieces.
Peridot Necklace by Blue Nile. See it here.
A gem variety of the mineral olivine, peridot is only found in shades of green, caused by traces of iron. In the past, the Egyptians called it the ‘gem of the sun’ and believed that it protected wearers from the ‘terrors of the night’. Today, it’s one of the three birthstones of August, together with sardonyx and spinel.
Peridot is also known as the ‘volcanic gemstone’, since it’s formed deep inside the Earth and comes up to the surface through volcanic eruptions. Rarely, it can have an extraterrestrial source, found in meteorites that have fallen to earth—but these aren’t likely to be seen in a retail jewelry store.
When shopping for peridot jewelry, remember to look for pure green peridot without hints of brown or yellow since these are less valuable.
With its 6.5 to 7 hardness, peridot is fairly tough for jewelry use, although it shouldn’t be exposed to acids and heat. With a little care, it’ll make a fine gemstone for jewelry.
Emerald Ring by Blue Nile. See it here.
The most famous member of the beryl family, emerald gemstones contain trace elements of chromium, iron and vanadium, which are responsible for its intense green color. Its name is derived from the ancient Greek word ‘smaragdus’ that means ‘green’, making it the standard for the color green among gemstones for thousands of years.
The finest emerald has pure green to bluish-green colors, without any visible color zoning. The color should be saturated and dark enough to be considered emerald. If it’s too light or there’s too much blue or yellow, the stone will be a different variety of beryl that’s less valuable.
With its 7.5 to 8 hardness, this gemstone has fair to good toughness, but it’s more brittle than sapphires and rubies. It’s the birthstone of May and the gemstone of both the 20th and 35th anniversaries.
Natural Alexandrite Ring by C A Girl Jewelry. See it here.
A rare color-changing variety of the mineral chrysoberyl, alexandrite is dubbed as an emerald by day and a ruby by night. This gemstone changes from green to reddish-purple when the light source changes from daylight to incandescent light.
The color-changing property of alexandrite is the most important factor in determining the gem’s value. High quality alexandrite stones must also have a high saturation and should not be too light or too dark. Their rarity and uniqueness make them very expensive gemstones, but synthetic and lab-created varieties are common in the market.
In jewelry, alexandrite is often seen in mixed cuts and cabochons, but they’re usually under a carat. Alexandrite is relatively hard, ranking 8.5 on the Mohs scale and because it has no cleavage (the tendency to break when hit), it’s perfect for engagement rings and other everyday jewelry pieces. It’s one of the June birthstones, along with pearl and moonstone.
Cushion Modified Diamond by James Allen. See it here.
An extremely rare type of diamond, this gemstone gets its color from natural irradiation. In fact, it owes its stunning green color to radiation stains, as well as to traces of nickel, nitrogen and hydrogen in its crystal structure.
Natural green diamond is very desirable, but there are also artificially irradiated synthetic varieties. They can be found in deep green shades, with hints of blue, yellow, or brown and are quite expensive although not as much as pink or red diamonds.
Natural Green Sapphire by James Allen. See it here.
Did you know that sapphires also come in green? Unlike their blue varieties, green sapphires are rarely saturated. The gemstone gets its color from traces of iron, ranging from yellow green to olive green, mint green and green-blue “mermaid” colors.
Green sapphire is one of the most durable gemstones, which makes it a great choice for everyday jewelry pieces, including engagement rings. The best part about this gemstone is that it’s less expensive than its blue varieties, although quite difficult to find in jewelry.
Tsavorite Ring Stack by Blue Nile. Check price here.
There are many different types of garnet on the market that vary in chemical composition. A variety of the green grossular garnet, tsavorite is a relatively new gemstone in the market. It gets its gorgeous green color from the trace amounts of chromium or vanadium in its composition and is an excellent substitute for emeralds.
Tsavorite is rarely treated or enhanced and most of the time, it’s cut into shapes that retain as much weight as possible from the rough. They’re a fairly durable stone, but need to be taken care of to avoid getting scratched or damaged. As a garnet, tsavorite is the birthstone for the month of January.
Russian Demantoids by Gusona. See them here.
A brilliant green variety of andradite, demantoid is regarded the most valuable type of garnet. The green colors of tsavorite and demantoid overlap, as the latter can also be found in shades of vivid emerald green. It’s said that demantoid with secondary colors of brown or yellow is far less valuable than pure green demantoid.
Demantoid garnet is durable enough for daily use, though it’s softer than tsavorite. They’re mostly found in sizes under 2 carats and it’s quite challenging to find a larger demantoid gemstone in the jewelry market.
Baguette Verdelite by July And Jo. See it here.
This gemstone gets its name from the Sinhalese word ‘toramalli’ which means ‘stone with mixed colors’. In the past, green tourmaline was often confused with emerald because the two look very similar. This attractive gemstone is one of the birthstones of October, along with opal.
Green tourmalines, also known as verdelite, have attractive pleochroic colors of bright green and blue which are considered the most valuable. When purchasing green tourmaline jewelry, avoid going for the stones with less attractive yellowish or brownish tones, described by many as olive green.
In jewelry, green tourmaline is often seen in long rectangle cuts due to the shape of the rough crystals. Ranking 7 to 7.5 on the Mohs scale, it’s a durable gemstone but like all other gemstones ot shouldn’t be exposed to sudden temperature change. If this happens, the stone can crack or its color can be permanently altered.
Natural Green Topaz Earrings by Black Crystal Jewels. See them here.
In Sanskrit, the term ‘topas’ or ‘tapaz’ means ‘fire’, referring to the stone’s brilliance. This stone gets its name from the old Greek name ‘Topazios’, a small island in the Red Sea that’s now called as ‘Zabargad’. The island was actually a source of peridot gemstones, instead of topaz but people mistook the stone for peridot.
While green isn’t a popular color for topaz, it tends to be very light in color with a vitreous luster. Green topaz ranks 8 on the Mohs hardness scale, but it has a poor toughness rating because of its cleavage which means it can crack if dealt a hard blow. This stone should be set in protective mountings, or used on jewelry pieces like earrings, brooches and pendants. Topaz, along with the gemstone citrine, is regarded one of the November birthstones,
Malachite Cocktail Ring by Treasure Fine Jewelry. See it here.
Mostly recognized for its bright green color and stunning banding, malachite is a copper mineral and one of the most reasonably priced stones. Since it’s affordable, it’s often found on statement jewelry, with its unique patterns adding a unique look to jewelry designs.
Malachite is a very soft and brittle gem, ranking at only 3.4 to 4 in the Mohs scale of hardness, which means that it requires extra care. Although this gemstone isn’t ideal for daily wear, it still makes a stunning and decorative addition to any jewelry piece.
Mid-Century Bloodstone Ring by Velvet Box Society. See it here.
A variety of chalcedony, this green gemstone got its name from its brown and red spots that resemble spots of blood. In the past, it was strongly associated with warriors and their bravery, making it a popular gemstone in men’s rings. People believed that bloodstone brought feelings of bravery and fearlessness to its wearer. Nowadays, it’s regarded as one of the birthstones of March, along with aquamarine.
Bloodstone can be found in various shades of green from bluish-green to dark green. They’re often polished into cabochons and are also carved or faceted. With their hardness of 6.5 to 7, bloodstones are fairly tough stones which can be incorporated to any type of jewelry.
Labradorite Cocktail Ring by Anemone Jewelry. See it here.
A feldspar mineral first identified in Labrador, Canada, labradorite is most recognized for its stunning flashes of color known as ‘labradorescence’. It’s said that opaque varieties of the stone are more desirable due to their iridescence, which can hardly be seen in transparent varieties. Although labradorite has a hardness of 6 to 6.5 on Moh’s scale, it’s not a very scratch resistant stone. However, they’re an excellent choice for affordable gypsy and bohemian jewelry pieces.
Moss Agate Ring by Minimal VS. See it here.
A variety of chalcedony, agate can be found in a wide range of colors, with green being the rarest. However, not every green agate qualifies as a semi-precious stone, unless it’s smooth a vitreous luster. Sometimes, the inclusions can enhance the stone’s value, especially on dendritic, moss and plume varieties.
Due to the gem’s porous nature, most agates in the market are dyed to enhance their look. They’re often fashioned into beads, polished into cabochons and cut to show off their natural bands. With a hardness of 7 on the Mohs scale, green agate is regarded a very durable jewelry stone. Although this stone is considered the most valuable of the agate family, it remains fairly inexpensive.
Tibetan Turquoise Necklace by Henryka Jewellery. See it here.
While the signature color of turquoise is bluish-green, this gemstone can also be found in various other green shades. Typically mined in Carico Lake, Nevada, this stone is often found in all its different shades. Some stones, like the one in the picture, are a bright, apple green color with black patterns on them and these are very rare and expensive.
In the trade, green turquoise is considered to be less valuable than blue varieties, though this is a matter of personal preference. Ranking 5 to 6 on the Mohs scale, turquoise is fairly soft, but can be used on various types of jewelry pieces. It’s also a gorgeous December birthstone.
Aventurine Necklace by Sophie Jane Jewels. See it here.
A variety of quartz, aventurine is mostly recognized for its glistening effect called ‘aventurescence’. Its name comes from the Italian phrase ‘a ventura’ meaning ‘by chance’. Aventurine gemstones have a vitreous, glass-like luster to them. While green is the most common color, there are various aventurine stones, ranging from light to dark forest hues.
Aventurine is often fashioned into cabochons and beads, used mostly for vintage, bohemian and contemporary jewelry designs. With the hardness of 6.5 to 7 and a very compact structure, it’s regarded as a tough gemstone that won’t damage easily.
Aventurine is highly abundant in nature which is why it’s a fairly inexpensive gemstone to add to your jewelry collection.
Vintage Amazonite Ring by Maejean Vintage. See it here.
Named after the Amazon River, amazonite is a translucent to opaque gemstone mostly found in shades of deep, leaf green, blue-green, and light green. These stones commonly feature white lines and streaks which give it a marbled effect.
Amazonite ranks 6 to 6.5 on the Mohs scale, which means that while it’s hard enough not to get scratched easily, it certainly can crack if it suffers a hard blow.
Chrysoprase and Diamond Bracelet by Moira Fine Jewellery. See it here.
Chrysoprase is a variety of chalcedony that can be found in bright, translucent green hues caused by nickel-bearing minerals. It’s a great choice if you’re looking for a jade alternative since it looks the same and doesn’t cost as much.
This gemstone has the hardness of 6 to 7 on the Mohs scale and is used in various jewelry designs. When shopping for chrysoprase jewelry, opt for the gemstones that originate from Australia, since other varieties are said to fade in the sunlight.
This gemstone gets its name from the Greek word ‘apatein’ which means ‘to deceive’, because the gemstone was confused with other minerals. In the trade, light green apatite is referred to as ‘asparagus stones’ because of its color.
Apatite is a soft and brittle stone with a hardness of 5 on the Mohs scale. Since it’s fairly soft, it’s not recommended for rings and bracelets, but can be used for earrings and pendants, as long as it’s mounted in a protective setting.
Maw Sit Sit
Maw Sit Sit Earrings by Wilson Brothers. See them here.
Maw sit sit is a bright green gemstone that looks similar to jade, which is why the two are often confused. It gets its unique color from the very high amounts of chromium in its composition. Maw sit sit is generally opaque with black inclusions—and sometimes even contains the same properties as jadeite.
Although this stone has a hardness of 6 to 7, it’s extremely tough and resistant to chipping. If jade is out of your budget, maw sit sit can be a stunning choice for earrings and pendants.
Assessing the Color and Quality of Green Gemstones
Like many other colored gems, green gemstones are assessed by their color and clarity as well as saturation, hue and tone. While pure green is the most desirable color, the gemstone also needs to be well saturated and should have a medium dark tone to be called valuable. Some people prefer green gemstones with a hint of yellow or blue, but these are generally less expensive and of lower quality than the pure green stones.
Clarity is an important factor when assessing the quality of any gemstone. It’s important to note that inclusions are more noticeable in lighter colored stones, so avoid buying such stones. Emeralds generally have poor clarity and eye-clean varieties are extremely rare which is why even included emeralds are generally accepted.
Which Green Gemstone Is Right for Me?
There are numerous varieties of green gemstones to choose from, but it all comes down to your preferences and budget as well as availability of the stone.
If you’re looking for green gemstones for daily wear, consider green sapphires, garnets, tourmalines, jade, aventurine, chrysoprase, bloodstone and maw sit sit. Since not all green gemstones are durable enough, you might want to reserve your emeralds, turquoises and peridots for occasional wear.
Green gemstones can be a gorgeous addition to any jewelry or gemstone collection. While some green gems can be too expensive to fit in your budget, there are many other affordable options that look just as good as the expensive gems. We hope you found our article useful and enjoy shopping for your very own green gemstone!