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  • Writer's pictureValerieBound

For the love of green gemstones

Updated: Feb 23, 2022

Ugh, this winter weather and all the snow has me longing for spring! And green! I am actually looking forward to St. Patrick’s Day, drinking green beer, and wearing a shamrock T-shirt! And I’m here to tell you that rarely happens! What can I say?! I am desperate for better weather! Anyway, spring has me thinking about all the great green stones out there. From peridot to malachite, there are so many beautiful ones. Let’s explore some of my favorites.

And I’ll throw in a little St. Patrick’s Day trivia along the way, just for fun!


Lovely, lovely peridot is far and away, my favorite green gemstone. It’s got a beautiful color, is relatively easy to find, and it’s not too expensive. Peridot doesn’t really come in other colors besides green. But the green can vary from a light yellow-green to a dark brownish green. Below is the more common color that you’ll find.

And sometimes you’ll see this darker peridot.

Fun fact about St. Patrick’s Day:

Did you know a four leaf clover is not the same thing as a shamrock? Shamrocks have three leaves while clovers have four. And four leaf clovers are very rare, that’s why if you find one, you’re lucky!


Emeralds are exquisite. Throughout history, they have been the gemstone that everyone wants to have. But they are not naturally clear stones. They tend to very messy on the inside (we gemologists call this “included”), with little feathers of specs of things. You can see what I mean from the collage below. This is why a lot of emeralds are treated. They can be heated to improve color, or filled with wax or liquid to mask some of their flaws. You should always assume an emerald has been treated, whether this is disclosed to you or not. Treated or not, emeralds are beautiful. But beware, they are expensive.


Garnets are one of the unsung heroes of gemstones, in my opinion. They are found on every continent, and they’ve been used in jewelry since antiquity. Garnets come in an amazing range of colors, from yellows and oranges to greens and reds. They are a January birthstone, but don’t let that hold you back! I think anyone can wear a beautiful garnet if they like!

<img class=" wp-image-2805 lazyload" src="" alt="Color range of garnets (image courtesy of" width="500" height="282" srcset=" 634w, 300w" sizes="(max-width: 500px) 100vw, 500px" /> Color range of garnets (image courtesy of

There are different kinds of green garnets – demantoid garnets, tsavorite garnets, and others. But when you’re buying a garnet, they’ll probably just tell you it’s a green garnet. And green garnets are pretty uncommon. Red garnets are far more available (because they look so much like ruby). But garnets are great gems, so keep them in mind.

Fun fact about St. Patrick’s Day:

Apparently, one of the reasons to wear green is so that leprechauns can’t see you. And you don’t want them to see you, because then they’ll pinch you…. So wear green!


Spinel is similar to garnet in that it has a good color range too, blues, reds, pinks, oranges, and more. In an earlier post, I talked about how green spinel was recently added as an August birthstone. But you don’t see a whole lot of green spinel on the market. I see a lot of red spinel (mainly because it’s cheaper than ruby, but looks very much the same). Spinel can also be created in a laboratory. Whether it’s from the earth or from a lab, spinel is inexpensive. I like spinel for its low cost and range of colors.


Chrysoprase is a very beautiful chalcedony. The best chrysoprase is an apple green color, and nice and shiny.  In jewelry, it’s typically seen as a cabochon or a bead.

<img class="wp-image-6261 lazyload" src="" alt="Bahina 18K Gold, Chrysoprase And Iolith Earrings" width="312" height="500" srcset=" 674w, 187w, 768w, 639w, 610w, 1080w" sizes="(max-width: 312px) 100vw, 312px" /> Bahina 18K Gold, Chrysoprase And Iolith Earrings from Moda Operandi

Fun fact about St. Patrick’s Day:

St. Patrick’s Day, as we know it today, started in the late 1800’s when lots of Irish immigrants were arriving in the United States. Previously a Saint’s Day, the newly American Irish started using the day to celebrate their heritage to the Emerald Isle.


Jade is another big favorite of mine. The best jade is a deep, even green, and almost translucent. While I fantasize about being able to afford a pair of high quality jade bangle bracelets, they would likely cost thousands of dollars…. There are actually two kinds of jade – nephrite jade and jadeite jade. Unfortunately, when you’re shopping, no one distinguishes between the two. Pieces are simply called jade. And there’s plenty of either dyed jade or poor quality jade out there. Jade value is all about even color, and the best pieces have a nice, deep color throughout. My advice is to be careful when you’re buying. If you really want to spend money on high quality jade, make sure you’re working with a reputable dealer (I recommend Mason Kay). Otherwise, assume your product is dyed, and pay accordingly.

The earrings below are from Fernando Jorge is a famous Brazilian jewelry designer, currently based in London. His pieces have been on the red carpet (read my earlier post to see his earrings at the 2018 Emmys).

designer jade earrings
jade earrings by Fernando Jorge


Malachite is such a great stone. It’s really distinctive and pretty with the green banding, and it’s  inexpensive. What more could you want?

<img class=" wp-image-6313 lazyload" src="" alt="Polished malachite stones, note the distinctive banding" width="455" height="303" srcset=" 1600w, 300w, 768w, 1024w, 610w, 1080w" sizes="(max-width: 455px) 100vw, 455px" /> Polished malachite stones, note the distinctive banding

Fun fact about St. Patrick’s Day:

The color of St. Patrick’s Day should actually be blue. Blue was the background color on the first Irish coast of arts. Blue is also the official color of the Order of St. Patrick knighthood. And the national color of Ireland is blue – St. Patrick’s Blue. And it’s on the Irish Constitution. 


This stone is a kind of quartz, with a neat sparkly effect. Like chrysoprase and malachite, these stones are usually in cabochons or beads.


This is another cool little gemstone. It’s got a nice color, it’s never treated or enhanced, and it’s pretty affordable. Like malachite, chrysoprase, and aventurine, it’s usually in cabochons or beads.

Fun fact about St. Patrick’s Day:

The color green in Ireland has a political history to it. Traditionally, green meant you were taking a stand against British colonialism. An old Irish ballad “Wearing of the Green” talks about the unsuccessful rebel uprising of 1798. And when Ireland gained independence in 1922, green was one of the three colors on the new Irish flag. The green represents Catholics, the orange represents Protestants, and the white stands for the peace between the two.

Go shopping!

If you’re not a fan of green gemstones and you think wearing a clover or shamrock ring is just too much, check out these little rings I found at Nordstrom.

I love them, and they come in different colors!

I hope this post inspired you to think about adding something new to your jewelry box. But if not, I definitely hope you’re having better weather than I am now! If you’re longing for green and spring like me, check out my green gemstones board on Pinterest! Here’s to the upcoming spring!


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