Apart from red and blue, green is also a popular choice for gemstones.
In this article, you'll learn about:
- What green gemstones are
- Where you can buy them
- And our top picks for the best green gemstones
What Are Green Gemstones?
Even though green gemstones are quite diverse, they are one of the most fancied stones by collectors, designers, and aficionados.
In the metaphysical world, green gemstones possess symbolic meanings with nature, life, wealth, and energy. They are also associated with the heart chakra, where they are excellent for healing and bringing love.
If you love green, then you’ll have a nice read exploring the varieties of green gemstones giving you different hues to finesse your wardrobe.
What Metal is Best for a Green Gemstone?
According to color science, some colors technically look better than others when paired together. The same goes for colored gemstones and their ring metals.
Green gemstones look great in all different kinds of engagement ring setting colors. However, some shades of green look better in one metal or the other.
Majority of green gemstones look best in a white gold setting. Most people who buy green gemstones choose white metals like white gold, platinum, or sterling silver. I don't recommend silver for engagement rings though.
Read also: Sterling Silver vs Gold Jewelry
Light green gems don't look as good in yellow gold settings. The yellow gold is a deep rich color that may detract from yellow green, pale green, or other soft green hues. Middle green hues like bright green or apple green gemstones are better in rose gold than yellow.
Green is a cool color, so it looks best on cooler skin tones. However, yellow green gemstones may look better on warm skin tones because of yellow being a warm color.
What are the Different Green Gemstone Types?
There are many different types of green stones, but not all of them make great jewelry. There are only three precious stones of the green variety: green diamonds, green sapphires, and emeralds. All other green gems are semi-precious stones.
Emeralds are one of the only precious green gemstones and are very popular. They come from the beryl family, alongside aquamarine and morganite.
They are known for their intense green shades. The most desirable are Columbian emeralds, which have blue green hues. The green in emeralds get their shades from trace elements of chromium, which is rare.
Treatments are common for emeralds and they're normally highly included. Only the most expensive emeralds are untreated and bright. Very few gemstones have high clarity.
If well maintained, emeralds can last for long. The stone is generally tough (7.5 to 8 Mohs) and inclusions can cause the gemstone to become weak and prone to cracks.
Emeralds don’t do so well in a rough environment, so they’re usually treated and crack-filled to add to its stability and appearance as well. They are great for almost all types of jewelry, although special care is advised.
Read also: Best Places to Buy Emeralds Online
Peridot are unique, semi-precious stones only found in volcanic deposits or areas that had violent volcanic activities.
It is majorly found in one shade (idiochromatic) and will rarely show in other colors. The stone is fairly durable and a 6.5 to 7 hardness makes it useable for most jewelry.
Peridot mostly occurs eye-clean however, there are some that may contain minor inclusions as little black spots or pear-shaped inclusions only visible under a microscope.
Peridots can cut into different casts such as marquise, squares, and ovals. However, for engagement rings, the settings need to be protective, if you want the stone to last longer. Settings such as bezel are an ideal option.
Read also: Where to Buy Peridot Jewelry Online
3. Green Sapphire
A few years back, green sapphires were not that valuable. They have recently gained popularity that suddenly coincides with their rarity.
Nowadays, it is difficult to find green sapphires. The green pigment in sapphires is a result of trace amounts of iron available during its formation.
The green sapphire has different shades of green with “Green Star Sapphires” being the most attractive, especially when exposed to enough amounts of light. Since green sapphires are very rare, there are synthetic forms of this stone selling at affordable prices.
Green Sapphire has a high hardness of around 9 on the Mohs scale, making it a perfect choice for all types of jewelry. Heat-treating the gemstone is also a common industry practice for optimal brilliance and beauty.
Read also: Emerald vs Green Sapphire
Jade is a popular gemstone in Asian countries, but most people around the world know of it. Most often, jade is an ornamental rock best used for jewelry making.
In particular, “Imperial Jade” was a valued stone in China. Jade occurs in two main forms, Jadeite and Nephrite. Nephrite jade is waxier and has a smooth luster while Jadeite has a sugary texture. Both are translucent to opaque green stones.
Nephrite is not as rare and has a lower intrinsic value than Jadeite, which is hard to find. Correction, natural jade is hard to find as many pieces are dyed.
Jade has is fairly soft (6 Mohs) but is fairly compact. Jadeite is rarely faceted and cuts well into cabochons and other smooth cuts. It can be very expensive depending on carvings, artistry, and size of the pieces.
5. Green Tourmaline
Green tourmaline is wonderful gemstone with a gorgeous green shade. There are two varieties of green, . but only one is usually called "green tourmaline". Verdelite is the alternative name for these green crystals.
The other variety of green tourmaline is chrome tourmaline. This is the name given to intensely saturated and bright green gemstones. There are other green tourmalines that are a deep green, almost black. These are undesirable to most.
Tourmalines are known for their pleochroism, or multiple colors in the light. Many green tourmalines have secondary hues of blue. Like emeralds, they get their green shades from trace amounts of chromium.
People may confuse them with emeralds, so they make a great alternative. They have much better clarity than emeralds too, for a cheaper price. Verdelite is cheaper than chrome tourmaline, which can go for about $500 per carat. Verdelite is around $100-$150 per carat.
6. Green Topaz
Topaz occurs as a colorless gem but due to inclusion of chromium or vanadium, some varieties will have green shades.
Green topaz has a vitreous luster, and not a common type of topaz.
Green topaz is quite hard (8 Mohs) and will fit into any kind of jewelry. Topaz is faceted to enhance its already excellent brilliance. Green topaz is often eye-clean and a few gems will have visible inclusions.
7. Green Apatite
Apatite is popular for its bright blue hues and affordability. However, it also occurs as green gemstones. Green apatite may be in-between blue and green shades, but they are olive green varieties too.
These green gems have beautiful brilliance when faceted, but they should only be used in low-impact jewelry. Apatite is a soft stone at 5 on the Mohs scale. Some apatite may be 3-4. It's a very brittle stone, so don't wear this green gemstone as an engagement ring or other fashion ring.
8. Green Zircon
Zircon gets a bad rap because it's commonly confused with cubic zirconia, a man-made diamond simulant. Actually, zircon is its own naturally occurring stone, in a range of colors. Colorless zircons make a great diamond alternative and other colors are affordable.
Green zircon is scarce and considered a collector's gem. Olive green gems are more common, but bright green colors are incredibly rare.
9. Green Diamond
Green diamonds are extremely hard to find. However, the ones available have different shades of green often classified from faint green to fancy intense or fancy deep.
A green diamond forms underground like other diamonds, but the colors are obtained from years of natural irradiation.
Although not as pricey as its pink counterparts, green diamonds are very expensive with the deepest hues asking the most price. Even spotting a high quality fancy green diamond is tiresome.
This has led to some manufacturers lab-growing synthetic diamonds, which possess similar qualities at a fairer price. Natural green diamonds go for tens of thousands of dollars to hundreds of thousands. Synthetic green diamonds are thousands to ten thousands, but it's hard to find jewelers that carry them.
10. Tsavorite Garnet
Green garnet (aka Tsavorite Garnet) was first mined in Tanzania in the late ‘60s and is known to inspire love and commitment.
Considering when it was discovered, the stone is new in the gems world, and its grass green hues comes from traces of chromium during its formation.
It is relatively hard (7 to 7.5 Mohs) and is barely treated. Tsavorite is a valuable variety of garnets due to its rarity and striking green hue. The same minerals bring about the same color in tsavorites as emeralds.
The stone is yet to have a lab-grown counterpart. Tsavorite is normally faceted to brighten up its brilliance.
11. Demantoid Garnet
This is the less popular green garnet. It's the green variety of the andradite garnet family. Demantoid garnet are rare green stones many people don't know about. The ones that do are attracted to its brilliance.
The name "demantoid" means diamond-like. When the light hits a demantoid garnet, it sparkles like a diamond. Flashes of red can also be seen in well cut green gems.
The color hues of these rare green gems range from a deep green to a very light green color. Wearing demantoids in jewelry is a gamble. They have a lower hardness rating at 6.5. Keep these green stones clean so they don't get scratched.
Despite its scratching vulnerability, it doesn't have any gemstone cleavage. It's a durable gemstone suitable for any ring setting.
Because of their rarity, demantoid garnets are more expensive than other garnet varieties. A 1 carat can go for around $300 carat. Fine colored gems above 3 carats go for around $15,000 per carat!
Moldavite is not only one of the most popular green stones today, it's recently become an iconic green gemstone. New age practices, crystal healing, and Tiktok are the main culprits in their popularity.
Moldavite is an interesting green gemstone, mainly because it's not actually a gemstone. Like obsidian, moldavite is natural glass. However, the way moldavite comes to be is quite fascinating, especially for you science nerds interested in outer space.
Moldavite can be the result of impacts from meteorites. When a meteor crashes into Earth, it turns some of the earth's crust in liquid. The liquid splashes back up and cools when it comes down, creating the dark green moldavite.
Only recently has the interest in moldavite grown. Due to TikTok videos and blogs, many people are giving testament to its metaphysical properties. Mining practices have been restricted recently too, so there's not as much to go around.
There are also many fakes on the market. I'm part of a lot gem groups on Facebook and there's probably a fake moldavite piece a day. You have to be careful.
13. Green Fluorite
Fluorite is a favorite of the green crystals used in healing practices It comes in a lot of different colors, but it's not faceted . Most fluorite comes polished as points or towers. Mineral specimens have a spectacular cubic crystal structure.
Green fluorite has a unique green color. Green fluorite is usually a blue green or mint green color. It can occurs on its own, or as part of rainbow fluorite. They can be from transparent to opaque. Green fluorite isn't worn in jewelry because it's very fragile. It's hardness is a 4, it splinters, and has cleavage in different directions.
14. Chrome Diopside
Chrome diopside is a green gemstones that's has made itself known, but not well enough to be found in stones. Because of its dark green color, it's often confused with emeralds. Unlike most emeralds, chrome diopside appear transparent when faceted.
This reason this green gem is on everyone's radar is because it's one of the newest green gemstones in the industry. It was discovered in 1988. The ideal color of chrome diopside is yellow green, but there are many dark green gemstones too.
Diopside doesn't have great wearbility, which is a bummer. It has gemstone cleavage and a hardness of 5.5 to 6. A real emerald would make a better engagement ring than diopside. You'll want to wear this green stone in low impact jewelry such as earrings or pendants.
The cost of diopside is affordable at $50 per carat. Some diopside may have asterism, or the star effect on cabochon stones called Black Star diopside. They go for around $7 per carat.
Malachite is a green gemstone that mineral collectors and people who practice crystal healing are more familiar with. It's not often faceted to be worn in jewelry because of its softness. Malachite is brittle, with a rating of 3.5-4.5.
This green stone is very common and are often polished into carvings or palm stones. Malachite is a deep green banded with sea green color inside. Cabochons of this stone are very affordable, at about $5 per carat.
Although this gemstone coins its name from the Amazon River, we are yet to see any deposits from the Amazon.
Amazonite is commonly known for its white streaks patterned on a light green to leaf-green background.
The beauty of this stone is that it requires no treating to enhance it in any way. It is a bit hard and comes as a translucent to opaque gemstone.
Although the stone is somewhat rare, it is still reasonably priced. Due to its durability characteristics and inclusions, Amazonite is best to cut en cabochons or beads.
17. Green Agate
Agate is one of the most common household gemstones around. They are famous for their banded look when sliced and are often used to make clocks and coasters. Agates come in a range of colors, however exotic hot pink and bright blue colors are dyed.
Green agate is another variety of chalcedony, but this green shade isn't common. Green, blue green, and blue agates are rare and go for more than other varieties. It may go for around $40 per carat. You can find many cheap options on Etsy, but most of these are dyed.
Getting confused yet? This green gemstone sounds like two others on our list: chrysoberyl and prasiolite. However, chrysoprase is its own gemstone, and a stunning one at that. Like many green gemstones on our list, this is another variety of chalcedony.
Since chalcedony is rarely faceted, neither is chrysoprase. You'll see it as cabochons in jewelry. They are durable gemstones with no cleavage and a hardness of 6.5-7. Artisans will also create carvings from the material. A lot of people mistake it for jade, but chrysoprase is usually brighter.
It's very affordable, at around $20 per carat.
Kind of a creepy name right? It can also be called This green gemstone is a nifty one, often addressed in video games and computer games as crafting materials. Well, this mysterious stone gets its name due the red flecks in it. It's a very dark green stone that comes from the chalcedony family.
Bloodstone is popular for collection and metaphysical purposes, but not faceted. It may be used in brooches, pendants, or rings. It has a 6.5-7 hardness and great wearbility like most chalcedony. Bloodstone is the traditional birthstone of March, but most people know aquamarine as March's birthstone.
The cost of bloodstone is very affordable and not really priced per carat. You'll find large cabochons of these green gemstones on sale for under $100.
20. Green Chrysoberyl
Chrysoberyl is known more for being a yellow gemstone with a cat's eye effect rather than a green gemstone. It's also known for its alexandrite variety. It also comes a in a beautiful sea green color. It can be found as yellow green stones too.
Even though it's not high in demand, green chrysoberyl makes a great stone for jewelry. It has a hardness of 8.5 and considered to have excellent wearability. Faceted green chrysoberyl has excellence brilliance that anyone would love in their jewelry collection.
Prasiolite has gained popularity in recent years as a green gemstone. Its light green shade is actually artificial. It's actually light colored amethyst that has been heat treated to a green color. Green quartz is a rare gemstone in natural form. Most material comes from a small mine in Brazil.
These green gems have a hardness of 7. They follow the same wearbility as amethyst and other varieties of quartz. Quartz is very affordable, and so is heat-treated amethyst. Prasiolite runs about $20 per carat.
Read also: Where to Buy Amethyst Engagement Rings
This green gemstone might be known under another name, Vesuvianite. The name comes from where its mined, near Mt. Vesuvius. It's not a well known gem, so it doesn't have high value.
When faceted, idocrase are beautiful green crystals. They occur in a range of green shades and has great wearability. It has a 6-7 hardness and no gem cleavage.
Zoisite is comes from the same gemstone fam as tanzanite, a personal favorite. Unlike my beloved tanzanite, most jewelry buyers haven't heard of these green gemstones. They might be referred to as green tanzanite, but you won't find this one in stores.
Zoisite has a beautiful mix of green colors at different angles. A mixture of dark green and mint green brilliance come through this faceted gem. However, eye-clean pieces are rare. Most zoisite found is included or opaque.
Like tanzanite, zoisite has a hardness rating of 6-7. Faceted pieces can go for up to $500 per carat. However, zoisite is more often found as decorative pieces mixed in with ruby rough.
Prehnite is another green gemstone. It's rarely transparent, so most gems are translucent. This really makes the stone look beautiful in well cut pieces. The color hues in prehnite range from blue green, yellow green, pale green, and apple green.
The translucency of its green hues give it a mystical cloudy look when faceted. Most prehnite is cut en cabochon though. Majority of faceted pieces of prehnite are in smaller carat weights.
It holds up to scratching okay with a hardness of 6-6.5. But it has cleavage, so it can be tricky for lapidaries to cut. Prehnite is very affordable at a few dollar per carat.
25. Maw Sit Sit
Maw sit sit doesn't sound like the name of a green gemstone, does it? Oh, but it is. This green gemstone bears a resemblance to green jade. It can make a great jade alternative. In fact, maw sit sit actually has some jadeite in it.
The problem with maw sit sit is that it's a rare gemstone. It's not a hyper-expensive one, but it only comes from a village in Myanmar (former Burma). It's not faced either, but mainly used the same way as jadeite. Most maw sit sit is in cabochon form rather than used as green gemstone jewelry.
It's the mix of jadeite and another mineral called clinochlore that gives this lookalike its bright green hues. There are other minerals mixed into it as well. It's more affordable than jadeite in small quantities. There isn't a price per carat, but large cabochons over 50 carats can go for $1000.
Where to Buy Green Gemstones
There's a lot of different places to buy green gemstones. However, it's harder to find the precious green stones. Most sapphires in jewelry stores are blue, pink, or white. Most emeralds in-store are lab created, which are set in sterling silver.
Colored stones aren't in high demand in local jewelry stores. Your best bet to find green gemstones is going to be shopping online.
Personally, I recommend James Allen for all of the precious stones. They carry green diamonds, green sapphires, and natural green emeralds. They will also disclose any treatments on the grading reports.
Brilliant Earth and Leibish carry green precious stones too, but they're more expensive.
For all other semi precious stones, you should check out places like Etsy, Gem Rock Auctions, or individual sellers.
Read also: Best Places to Buy Colored Gemstones