Types of Green Gems

Save

Not every green gemstone is an emerald -- it could also be a peridot, a malachite or a piece of jade. Green gems have appeared throughout history, on the neck of Cleopatra and the fingers of Marjorie Merriweather Post, among others. Gems are divided into two categories: precious and semiprecious. Precious gems, such as peridot and emerald, are rarer, more expensive and less opaque than semiprecious gems. Green gems such as moss agate, jade and malachite are considered semiprecious.

Precious Gemstones

  • Precious gemstones are rare. They cost more than those considered semiprecious, and are ranked between 7 and 10 on Moh's Scale of Hardness. Precious stones are less opaque and, when cut, sparkle in the sunlight. Emeralds and peridots are green gemstones that are considered precious. Although most are in other colors, some rare garnets, tourmalines, topazes and sapphires are green. The metal settings for these precious gems include sterling silver, gold and platinum.

Semiprecious Gems

  • Semiprecious stones are softer than precious ones. They can be anywhere from a 4 to a 6.5 on Moh's Scale of Hardness. Because of this, these stones are often carved into sculptures, beads and pendants. Semiprecious gemstones are less rare than precious ones, and cost less. They are more opaque and are often made up of layers in various shades of green. Semiprecious green gemstones include malachite, gaspeite, jade, jadeite, variscite, moldavite, jasper, adventurine and bloodstone.

Use in Jewelry

  • Green gemstones are set into rings, pendants, necklaces and bracelets. Some of them, such as jade, are carved into sculptures. Semiprecious stones can also be found as beads or as pendants with a simple hole carved into them. Several green gemstones are birthstones. Emerald is the birthstone for May; sapphire represents people with September birthdays; and peridot is the birthstone for August.

Where They Come From

  • For a gemstone to be green, certain impurities must be present. Gemstones are formed by a chemical reaction deep in the earth. If there are no impurities present when it forms, the stone comes out clear, which is rare. The chemical impurities are what give gemstones their colors. Although two stones -- for example, jade and emerald -- may be green, overall each has a different chemical makeup that determines which is which. For example, emeralds contain a chemical called beryllium aluminum silicate, giving them their green color, whereas jade can vary in color depending on the iron level.

References

  • Photo Credit emerald ring image by studio vision1 from Fotolia.com
Promoted By Zergnet

Comments

You May Also Like

  • Types of Jewelry Stones

    From sparkly and shiny to mysteriously gleaming, stones used in jewelry can vary widely in terms of quality, price, color, cut and...

  • Types of Green Turquoise

    Because of its vivid, opaque color, with hues from green to sky blue, turquoise has been a valued gem in many cultures,...

  • Types of Blue Gemstones

    There are several gemstones that are always blue or contain blue shades. Some of these gems are birthstones, associated with a certain...

  • Which Types of Gems Are Most Expensive?

    The most expensive types of gems are usually the rarest. A single gem takes millions of years to form, and then humans...

  • Most Valuable Types of Emeralds

    The emerald has been treasured for centuries, but a quality emerald is a rare find. The most valuable types of emeralds are...

  • Different Types of the Color Green

    Green comes in many shades -- it's a pervasive color found in nature, in all hues. Whether you're painting a landscape, still...

Related Searches

Check It Out

This Is the Beauty Routine of an Ex-Pat in China

M
Is DIY in your DNA? Become part of our maker community.
Submit Your Work!