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GemSelect Newsletter - Spring Greens

Classic Green Emerald
Various Emerald Gems
Various Emerald Gems

The month of March heralds the coming of spring and also St Patrick's Day; an Irish national holiday which is celebrated by wearing green. Ireland is known as the "Emerald Isle" because of its beautiful green landscape. Therefore, with a nod to both spring and St Patrick's Day, the theme of this month's newsletter is green gems. No color embodies the spirit of spring like green, which suggests nature springing forth after a dormant phase.

When most people think of green gemstones there is one gem in particular that comes to mind. Without a doubt, the best-known and loved green gemstone is emerald. The history of emerald goes back thousands of years, to the ancient Egyptians, Moguls and Mesoamericans, and there are tales of beauty, love and adventure that feature this stunning green beryl jewel. Emerald is traditionally defined as medium to dark-green beryl that is colored by chromium, though many regions including the US also accept vanadium-colored green beryl to be emerald. Emerald varies between medium and dark-green and from a little yellowish- to bluish-green. The most valuable aspect of emerald is its color and the most desirable emeralds are medium-dark slightly bluish-green gems. With emerald, inclusions and flaws are accepted attributes of a natural gemstone. Emerald is the classic "precious" green gemstone, but it is not the only green stone in the jewelry box.

Gorgeous Green Tsavorite and Demantoid Garnet Back to Top
Tsavorite and Demantoid Garnet Gems
Tsavorite (Top) and Demantoid Garnets (Bottom)

Depending on the exact green that is desired, there is plenty of choice. One of our favorite green gems is tsavorite garnet, which is colored by chromium or vanadium. Tsavorite has a color that rivals fine emerald and tends to be cleaner and completely untreated. In fact, tsavorite can easily be mistaken for fine emerald. Until recently, tsavorite garnet was only found in the Tsavo National Park region in Kenya and on the other side of the border in Arusha Region of Tanzania. In the 1990s, tsavorite garnet was found in Southern Madagascar. However, there are fewer tsavorite stones produced in Madagascar. The only downside with tsavorite is that it is extremely rare in gems weighing over 1 carat.

Another rare green garnet gem is demantoid garnet, which is prized not only for its yellowish- to deep-green color, but also for its exceptionally high refractive index. This gives demantoid garnet an incredibly high level of brilliance. This, along with the highest dispersion rating of any jewelry gemstone and an adamantine luster, means that demantoid garnet is a genuine dazzler of a gem. If you like green gems with a lot of sparkle look no further than demantoid garnet gems, which may tend to be on the small side, but light up any piece of jewelry. Unlike tsavorite garnet, demantoid garnet gems tend to have visible inclusions. In fact, inclusions that resemble a horsetail are prized in demantoid garnet because they are an indication of favored Russian origin.

Tempting Tourmaline & Stunning Sapphire Back to Top
Green Tourmaline and Green Sapphire Gems
Green Tourmaline (Top) & Green Sapphire (Bottom)

For those who are looking for larger and more affordable green gems, tourmaline is a great choice. Tourmaline is a gem group known for its many types and colors, including green. Green dravite is a rare, chromium-bearing tourmaline variety which is found along with tsavorite garnet. Chrome tourmaline is a forest-green color. A more common variety of green tourmaline is also known as verdelite, which varies from bluish-green to yellowish- and brownish-green. Often, tourmaline shows more than one color in a single gemstone, depending on the angle from which it is viewed. The beauty of tourmaline gems for jewelry is that they can be easily found in many shapes, sizes and colors. Some say that the variety is the spice of life and tourmaline has this in abundance.

Sapphire is a gem that is best-known in its blue rather than green form. Green and other non-traditional sapphire colors are often referred to as "fancy sapphire". Green sapphires are typically colored by traces of iron and can be pale, yellowish-green to dark, forest-green, with some unusual bluish-green and silver-green color variations. In addition, some color-change sapphires are green. Beautiful color, superior hardness and durability are what make sapphire one of the most popular jewelry gemstones of all time.

Pretty Peridot and Prehnite Back to Top
Peridot and Prehnite Gemstones
Peridot (Top) & Prehnite (Bottom)

Another wonderful green gem is peridot. This tends to be more olive-green than emerald green. Its yellowish-green color provides a nice contrast with rose gold settings and pink gems. Peridot is an idiochromatic gemstone, which means that its color comes from its composition rather than trace impurities. Therefore, peridot only occurs in green, though the color of peridot varies from yellowish-green to brownish-green.

For those who love cabochons and carved gems, prehnite is a great green choice. Our prehnite is available in some interesting leaf and fruit carvings, which embody the spirit of spring. Prehnite gems can have a translucent, hazy quality to them, which along with their soft apple green color makes them quite unique. Prehnite is not a very well-known gem type because it used to be quite scarce. Most prehnite is now mined from China, where it is sometimes traded as "grape jade". Prehnite is typically green, but can also be found in brown, yellow, blue, orange and white.

The above is not a comprehensive list of green gemstones with which to celebrate a serene spring. There are several green gems not mentioned here, such as other green cabochon gems including maw-sit-sit, jade, chrysoprase, agate, amazonite, serpentine, seraphinite, turquoise, variscite and malachite. Further examples of faceted green gemstones are sphene, hiddenite, idocrase, kornerupine, enstatite and chrome diopside. For more detailed information on green gems, please refer to our green gemstone article.

Featured Gems - Rubellite Tourmaline, Lapis Lazuli & Kunzite Back to Top
Pear-Shaped Rubellite Tourmaline Gem
Pre-Certified Rubellite Tourmaline

Rubellite is a trade name for a rare and sought-after pink to red tourmaline which varies from deep-pink to red, often with a purple tint. Now and again, we acquire a few rubellite gems, which always sell out very quickly, even when heavily included. We are excited about our latest rubellite gems, because they are eye clean and around 2 carats in weight. In addition, many of our new rubellite tourmaline gems have been pre-certified by Burapha Gem Lab. The colors of these gems are absolutely awesome! If you like rubellite, you will fall truly, madly and deeply for these stones.

Modified Rose-Cut Lapis Lazuli Gem
Modified Rose-Cut Lapis Lazuli Gem

Lapis lazuli has been admired and used as a gemstone since ancient times, but some of our new lapis gems have been given a more modern look. We have recently acquired some lapis lazuli that have been faceted with a modified rose-cut, which is a popular cut given to black gems such as black spinel, melanite, black agate and black tourmaline. Modern trends have created a demand for such cuts. As you can see in the photo on the right, these lapis gems have flat bottoms like cabochons, with facets on the top. These unusual lapis gems are perfect for pendants.

Cushion-Shaped Kunzite Gemstone
Cushion-Shaped Kunzite Gem

Kunzite is a pale pink to light-violet spodumene gem that was named after George Frederick Kunz; American mineralogist and buyer for Tiffany & Co., who also identified another pale pink gemstone known as morganite. Both kunzite and morganite were first discovered in California, USA, but are now mined in other places such as Afghanistan and Madagascar. Kunzite is a versatile and durable jewelry gemstone that is best worn in the evening because it can fade after prolonged exposure to direct sunlight. For those who love large pink gems, kunzite is an affordable option. It is believed that kunzite enhances communication between lovers and encourages good fortune.

Gem & Jewelry News for March 2016 Back to Top

Large rough diamonds are always being discovered, but a recent discovery by Lucapa in Angola will be hard to beat. The D-color diamond weighs 404.2 carats; almost twice the weight of the previous record-breaking 217.4-carat diamond, which was discovered in 2007. The latest discovery is now the largest recorded Angolan diamond.

After approximately thirty years in a bank vault, the confiscated jewelry of former Philippine First Lady, Imelda Marcos, is set to be auctioned. Following a recent appraisal by Christie's and Sotheby's, the collection was given an estimated value of $21 million. Among the seized jewelry are a 25-carat pink diamond and a diamond tiara by Cartier.

Customer Questions Back to Top

Every month we answer questions of general interest from our customers. Please feel free to send your questions or suggestions to our support team at!

Dear GemSelect, I have my heart set on an opal ring, but my friend tells me that opal is too fragile to be put into rings. Can you give me some advice?
While it is true that opals are one of the most delicate gemstones, they can be worn in rings. Opals are delicate for several reasons; first, they are relatively soft at 5.5 - 6.5 on the Mohs scale. This means that they can be scratched by harder materials such as quartz. One way to protect an opal from scratches is to store it separately from other gems. A protective setting, such as a bezel will help to prevent scratches when opal is worn in a ring. Secondly, opals contain between 3 and 30% water, which makes them sensitive to sudden changes in temperature. To prevent dehydration during storage, opal should be kept in a sealed plastic bag with a damp piece of cotton. Lastly, to care for an opal ring, clean it only with a soft damp cloth, and avoid the use of chemicals or ultrasonic cleaners.
Hi, I was wondering if you could tell me the difference between smoky quartz and smoky topaz?
Quartz and topaz are two different gem types; quartz is silicon dioxide and topaz is fluor containing aluminum silicate. Smoky quartz is a popular, brown, gray or almost black quartz gem, however, there is no "smoky topaz". Rather, "smoky topaz" is actually smoky quartz that is being traded under the wrong name. Since topaz tends to be more valuable than quartz, unscrupulous dealers try to sell smoky quartz as "smoky topaz". If you are offered such a gem, please beware.

We always welcome your questions, comments and feedback! For those who are interested in attending some gem and jewelry events, please see the details below.

Gem & Jewelry Events for March 2016 Back to Top
Event Name
Event Name
ASD Las Vegas
Las Vegas Convention Center, Las Vegas, NV, USA
February 28 - March 2, 2016
Event Name
Best Adornments of Russia
Russian Federation
All-Russian Exhibition Centre, VVC, Moscow, Russian Federation
March 3 - 6, 2016
Event Name
Hong Kong International Jewellery Show
Hong Kong
Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre, Hong Kong, SAR
March 3 - 7, 2016
Event Name
Istanbul Jewelry Show
Istanbul Expo Center, Istanbul, Turkey
March 10 - 13, 2016
Event Name
Jewelry Industry Summit
Fashion Institute of Technology, 227 West 27th St, New York City, NY, USA
March 10 - 13, 2016
Event Name
Exhibition Centre, Basel, Switzerland
March 17 - 24, 2016
Event Name
Gem & Jewellery India International Exhibition
Chennai Trade Centre, Chennai, India
March 18 - 20, 2016
Event Name
Jewellery & Gem Faire Europe
Messe Freiburg, Freiburg, Germany
March 19 - 22, 2016
Event Name
Quebec Gift Fair
Place Bonaventure, 800 De La Gauchetiere St. W. 240, Montreal, Quebec, H5A 1K6, Canada
March 20 - 23, 2016
Event Name
International Watch & Jewelry Guild Show
Westin Dallas Park Central, Dallas, Texas, USA
March 28 - 29, 2016

Keep up with our new arrivals before they hit the newsletter by joining our thousands of fans and followers on our social networking pages. We love interacting with our customers - you can visit us on Tumblr, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook or Pinterest!

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Happy Gem Hunting!
Your friends at GemSelect

  • First Published: March-01-2016
  • Last Updated: February-07-2022
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Gems are always measured in Millimeter (mm)

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