You may think of Emeralds when asked to recall green gemstones, but did you know many other gemstones are also available in green?
Actinolite Cat’s Eye – Actinolite cat’s eye is a rare green variety of chatoyant actinolite. It is often misleadingly referred to as “cat’s eye jade”, because of its close association with nephrite jade. The stone is translucent and hard to find in gem quality pieces.
Amazonite – Amazonite is most typically a tropical greenish blue, but it can also be found in a pine blue-green tone. The stone has beautiful color variations and looks lovely with sterling silver. It is a variety of microcline, a potassium-rich member of the feldspar mineral group. It was first named Amazon Stone after the Amazon river. That name evolved into Amazonite.
Apatite – Apatite comes in several color variations, most notably tropical blue. However, it is also found in a light aqua green tone. It can be opaque or transparent, depending on the quality of the stone. It is a fairly soft stone (5 on the Moh’s scale) and is easy to break. It does make beautiful earrings and pendants.
Aventurine – Aventurine is a type of translucent green quartz. It is sometimes referred to as a gamblers stone as the name is derived from the Italian word, aventura, which means chance. Most aventurine is mined in India. It comes in a variety of shades, some that nicely mimic jade.
Beryl – Beryl is the name for a mineral group that includes emeralds and aquamarines. The name emerald is reserved for bright to dark green stones. When the green is lighter it is simply called green beryl. The stones can be translucent to transparent, though the transparent varieties are more valued. Beryl is a fairly hard stone that holds up well in jewelry.
Bloodstone – Also called heliotrope, bloodstone is a dark green stone mixed with red jasper. Bloodstone is a type of quartz. Thought to have healing properties, it is thought to remove negative energies and support energy. Bloodstone is one of March’s birthstones.
Chrome Diopside – A deep green gemstone that is a form of diopside, its color dark green, similar to emerald. The color is brighter and more to the yellow side of green than the blue tones found in emeralds. Chrome diopside is a very affordable green gemstone that looks beautiful set in silver or gold.
Chrysophase – Chrysophase is known for its lovely apple green hue, but also varies to a darker green. The green color is caused from traces of nickel in the stone. Prolonged exposure to sunlight can lighten the color. It makes a lovely cabochon gemstone in a ring.
Chrysoberyl – A lovely yellow-green, Chrysoberyl is often confused with peridot. The transparent stone color varies from a light-yellow green to a darker hue with golden hues. This hard stone holds up well to everyday wear. It also comes in a cat’s eye variety that is translucent.
Diamond – The most popular diamond colors are white, followed by blue and brown, however diamonds actually come in several other colors. Green diamonds are prized for their durability and unique color. They are among the rarest diamonds on the planet with shades from pale yellow-green to deep forest green. Unlike blue diamonds, that are irradiated to get their color, green diamonds get their color naturally. One of April’s birthstones
Emerald – One of the most valuable green gemstones, emeralds have been prized for their intense green color for thousands of years. Along with ruby and sapphires, emeralds are considered precious stones, second only to diamonds. This may birthstone is a hard stone that holds up well to wear. Most have inclusions that make them translucent, but the highest quality stones are completely transparent.
Fluorite – Fluorite is a beautiful stone that is very soft (4 on the Moh’s Scale) and should be worn carefully. Also called fluorspar, this stone is typically used in chemical applications, but some stones are transparent enough to use as gemstones. There are many colors of fluorite available, including green, which is typically a mint color.
Garnet – Most people think of garnets as red, but they actually come in a rainbow of colors. The most popular variety is the Tsavorite garnet, which is a stunning green that rivals emeralds in color. It also comes in a brighter green (Demantoid garnet) and a brighter yellow green (Mali garnet). Most green garnets come from Africa or Russia.
Jade – Green is the most common and popular color of jade. The most valuable is bright green, almost transparent jadeite, known as Imperial Jade. The royal court of China once controlled all Imperial Jade, thus its name. Jade is popular all around the world. It comes in two forms, nephrite and jadeite, with jadeite being the more valuable form. Green jade ranges from pale green to dark forest green.
Malachite – A bright green banded mineral, malachite has been popular in Southwestern jewelry for centuries. Prized for its beautiful variations in color, malachite is also used for carvings and figurines. The color is a deep bright green with bands of white.
Maw Sit Sit – A green and black stone, maw sit sit has been confused with jade for hundreds of years. It is a little-known gemstone that is hard to find. Only found in Burma, the stone is named after the village where it was officially discovered in 1963. Maw sit sit is durable and wears beautifully.
Moldavite – A form of tektite, moldavite was formed by a meteorite that hit southern Germany about 15 million years ago. It comes in a forest green, olive green or blue greenish color. Collectors like to acquire natural formations of moldavite but it can also be carved or faceted.
Moss Agate – A form of agate with green, moss-like formations, moss agate is beautiful in rings and pendants. Due to the natural variation, every stone is a little different. It is typically found in cabochon cuts, but can also be carved into bowls and figurines.
Peridot – One of the best known green gemstones, genuine peridot comes from pallasite meteorites, remnants of the origin of our solar system. The Egyptians called it the “gem of the sun.” It is only found in shades from greenish-yellow to deep green. It is one of the birthstones for August
Prasiolite – Prasiolite is actually heat-treated amethyst. Subjecting the purple stones to high heat changes their color to green. Some prasiolite is naturally colored from being subjected to lava flows, for example. However, most is treated with heat to create the color. It is also known as green amethyst.
Prehnite – A lovely stone, prehnite can be found in several shades from white to gray-green to bright yellow green. It is a translucent stone that can be found in both faceted gemstones and carvings. It is found in Africa, Australia, Canada, China, Germany, Scotland, France and the United States
Sapphire – Blue is the traditional color of sapphires, but it also comes in white, pink and green. Green sapphires are beautiful stones in shades of green to blue-green to yellow green. One of the more valuable green sapphires is the parti sapphire that has multiple shades in the same stone. They are mostly found in Australia, though they have also been found in Nigeria, Madagascar, and Tanzania
Serpentine – Serpentine is a name for a group of minerals that form in a green color. Commonly used in southwestern jewelry, serpentine is typically made into beads or used as a raw stone in jewelry. It is sometimes confused with jade.
Sphene – Sphene is the gemstone name of the mineral Titanite. It is known for its brilliant fire. The dispersion of Sphene exceeds even that of Diamond. However, the stone has a low hardness which makes it difficult to use in jewelry.
Sunstone – Sunstone is known for its lovely peachy-orange hues, but it also comes in green and green-orange. The name sunstone refers to the stone’s metallic flashes in the light. The most famous deposits of sunstone are in Oregon in the United States.
Topaz – Topaz comes in a rainbow of colors but is less common in green. The hue ranges from greenish-yellow to dark blue-green. Topaz is November’s birthstone. It is a hard stone that is very durable and not prone to breakage.
Turquoise – The most well-known color of turquoise is the robin’s egg blue made famous by Tiffany & Company. However turquoise also comes in beautiful shades of green ranging from yellow-green to darker blue-green. Green turquoise is highly sought after.
Variscite – Sometimes confused with turquoise, variscite ranges from yellowish-green to bluish-green in color. This is a soft stone that is best worn in earrings or as a pendant. It is found in the same areas as turquoise, which makes it harder to identify correctly, though variscite is typically greener.
Verdelite – Verdelite is a green gemstone also known as green tourmaline. The most famous green tourmalines are known as Paraiba tourmalines that come in shades from electric blue to blue-green. Other green tourmalines are deep blue-green or bright yellow-green. Tourmalines make beautiful jewelry.
Vesuvianite – Also known as idocrase, Vesuvianite was originally found on Mount Vesuvius, the famous Italian volcano that erupted during the Roman empire. Rare stones are transparent and can be faceted for gemstones. Most Vesuvianite is translucent and can mimic jade. Colors range from bright green-yellow to bright deep green.
Williamsite – Williamsite is a variety of Antigorite that ranges in color from bright to deep dark green. It is often included with black crystals of chromite or magnetite. It has been used as a jade substitute and is generally carved into a cabochon shape.
Zircon – Often confused with cubic zirconia, a made-made synthetic material, natural zircon is actually the oldest mineral on Earth. Samples found in Australia date back from more than 4.4 billion years, even older than the moon itself. Zircon comes in a variety of colors but green is among the rarest.