Green Gemstones

Green Gemstones
By Alice Koh

Green is the color of life. It is a spiritual and healing color. Green gemstones are said to be bringers of wealth, luck, prosperity, abundance, joy and happiness.

Green gemstones, especially the crystal variety, are not only rare but expensive. There are many varieties in the market but my choice are those that are hard enough to withstand the bumps and knocks of daily life and are easily available and affordable.

Most of the green gemstones discussed here have a hardness of 7 or minimum on the Mohs scale.

Green gemstones come in a variety of sizes and colours from light to dark green.

Green gemstones since ancient times were considered sacred and were revered as spiritual gemstones by the ancient Chinese and Mesoamericans, just to pick two examples.

Green gemstones can come with a clear transparency or with inclusions. They can also be flawless, translucent or opaque.

Here is my green gems choice list:

Aventurine was known in the ancient world as it was more abundantly available than Emerald. Many of the tools discovered date back more than two and a half million years and were found to be constructed from aventurine quartz. Statues of gods and amulets, also were discovered to be made from aventurine.

Some scientists suggested that when the ancient people wrote about emeralds, they were in fact referring to aventurine. The "Emerald" in the Breast Plate of Aaron, the High Priest, was more than likely Green Aventurine.

In ancient China, green aventurine stone was considered sacred. It was used to make state seals. In ancient Tibet, aventurine was placed on the eyes of statues as it was believed that it could increase the visionary awareness of the person.

If you are looking for luck and fortune, look no further! Green aventurine is considered to be THE most magical and sacred Lucky Stone.
It is great in manifesting wealth and prosperity and favours activities related to finances, gambling and lottery.

Aventurine has a hardness of 7 on the Mohs scale. Therefore it is perfect for any type of jewellery.

Amazonite is a variety of Microcline, a green feldspar. Amazonite is named after the Amazon River in Brazil, probably as a marketing advertisement. This is because Amazonite though it is found in Brazil, however, it is not found in the Amazon Jungle or Amazon River. Perhaps the reason why this stone was called Amazonite is because of the legend of the women Amazon, who was said used this gemstone in the decoration of their weaponry.

Amazonite is a green to blue colored precious stone. It has a vitreous luster, it is smooth and waxy, shiny and bright. It has a weak, olive-green fluorescence. It has a perfect cleavage. Some Amazonite, however, come with unique patterns, such as swirls and stripes.

In our modern society, we are inundated with electromagnetic pollution and radiation from home wifi, routers, microwaves, computers, handphones, x-rays, GPS and many more. Amazonite is today’s antidote for these pollution. These electromagnetic radiations that we are bombarded with every second of our lives is the reason for our lack of concentration, lack of sleep, feeling down and lethargic, being irritated and nervous, stomach problems, psychosis, stress, cancer and a weak immune system.

Malachite is a basic green copper carbonate mineral. It derives its name from the Greek word MALACHE which means "mallow", from its resemblance to the soft green leaves of the mallow plant.

Malachite has a hardness of only 3.5 to 4 on the Mohs scale. It has a perfect cleavage and its transparency is translucent to opaque. Its luster is weak glass-like but not shiny. However, when cut and polished, Malachite has a silky luster. Since malachite is fairly soft, it is often coated with resin or wax (to make it tougher).

Malachite comes with swirls of light and dark green coloured highlights on its surface. It is an historic gemstone revered for its spiritual protective properties and was used as amulets for the dead in ancient times.

Ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans believed that malachite had the power to protect you from the Evil Eye of Envy. Therefore, they made it into amulets. In Europe during the Middle-Ages parents would put malachite jewelry on their children to protect them from witches and black magic (which is the same as the Evil Eye). It was also believed that if the malachite suddenly breaks off, it was a warning from malachite of pending danger. It was believed that malachite could save the wearer from black magic and demonic temptation. It was also thought to mirror the feelings of the wearer; if the wearer was feeling happy, you could see this happiness mirrored in the stone.

The dark green malachite is also known as the Kidney Gemstone because the upper side of the stone looks like a human kidney.

Malachite is the symbol of the Child, of the eternal Spring, of the eternal return, of the Spring equinox and the coming of the spiritual man.

Gaspeite has a trigonal crystal structure and comes in green, light-green and yellowish-green colors. Most exhibit brown vein-like inclusions.

Gaspeite has a hardness ranging from 4.5 to 5 on the Mohs scale. Gaspeite has a glass-like to dull luster when cut and polished. While opaque in its natural state, Gaspeite crystals are typically translucent. It also exhibits perfect cleavage in 3 directions and this means it can easily chip.

Gaspeite is gaining popularity since a large Gaspeite deposit has been discovered recently in Australia. It is often used for beaded jewelry, bracelets, necklaces, pins, pendants and carved ornamental objects.

Gemstones that are similar in appearance to Gaspeite include: Chrysoprase, Calcite, Chrysocolla, Jade, Malachite and the rare green Turquoise. Also, Serpentine, Variscite and Verdite.

Gaspeite is a shaman’s stone that has long been used by the aboriginal people of Australia. It is used for their vision and dream quest works.

The Shaman-Healers of Australia believe that this beautiful stone possesses powerful and strong healing attributes. It is said that Gaspeite gives strong healing vibrations that benefits the solar plexus which govern the heart, gallbladder and lungs.

It is a very powerful spiritual stone that helps the wearer communicate with the Spirit World.

Prehnite is composed of hydrated calcium aluminum silicate. It comes in a soft yellow-green to apple-green color.

Prehnite has a hardness ranging from 6 to 6.5 on the Mohs scale. It has a brittle tenacity with good cleavage, which means that it is a fragile stone. However, with a protective-style setting, prehnite can be used for just about any type of jewelry. When cut and polished, it has a vitreous to pearly luster. Many specimens have a captivating glowing quality.

Chinese call prehnite the "grape jade" due to the fact that prehnite is often found in a grape-like aggregate forms.

There are several precious stones that have a similar appearance in color and luster to that of prehnite. These include Jade, Apatite, Serpentine, Brazilianite, Periclase, Chrysoprase, Peridot, Smithsonite and Hemimorphite.

Prehnite is a powerful stone of protection, and is known as the Stone of Prophecy. Through meditation prehnite is a great bridge for communication with the spirit world. It is also a great vehicle used for astral projection.

It is considered a powerful dream stone. It promotes lucid dreaming. It is a booster of energy and invigorating power. It is also a booster of intuition.

Prehnite is also known as the stone of unconditional love for it is said that it is the glue that connects the Will and the Heart.

The name Chrysoprase is from Greek, Chrysos means "golden" and Prason means "apple" or "leek."

It is a form of chalcedony and it is sometimes translucent with colours ranging from apple green to deep green due to nickel oxidization.

The most sought after Chrysoprase is the iridescent mint-green color

Chrysoprase is a variety of cryptocrystalline quartz, composed of crystals that are too tiny to be seen even under magnification. It is also unique in the fact that unlike most of chalcedony quartz which occur in multi-colored patterns, Chrysoprase occurs only in rich vivid green color very similar to the finest quality Jade. However, jade has a hardness ranging from 6 to 7 on the Mohs scale (whereas Chrysoprase ranges from 6.5 to 7). Jade is also less translucent than Chrysoprase.

Prehnite, too, looks very similar to Chrysoprase. However, its green color is not as vivid and rich as Chrysoprase.

Variscite is another gemstone that can be confused with Chrysoprase. Nonetheless, Variscite has a waxier luster and its hardness on the Mohs scale ranges from 3.5 to 4.5.

Chrome Chalcedony is yet another green gemstone that is often confused with Chrysoprase. It has a Mohs hardness scale of 6 to 7 and its crystal structure occurs as trigonal or monoclinic. Furthermore, Chrome Chalcedony is colored by chromium whereas Chrysoprase is colored by nickel.

Ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans used this stone to make seals and ornamental jewelries. It was considered the sacred stone of Greek goddess Aphrodite. Alexander the Great had worn a girdle that contained a lucky chrysoprase stone that helped him win battles. He believed that the stone protected him of all evils. Once his Chrysoprase was stolen by a serpent, he started losing battles.

Green SERPENTINE looks like the scales of tropical green snakes. It is often confused with jade but is composed of different minerals. It has a hardness of 2.5 - 5.5 on the Mohs hardness scale.

In the past, Serpentine was highly esteemed by the ancient people for its healing properties. It was used to make vases, pillars, boxes, talismans and amulets.

In ancient times, serpentine was used in offerings to gods and goddesses. Ancient Egyptians used Serpentine to make their sacred scarab amulet; and ancient Persians made royal cylinders out of serpentine.

Serpentine was a charm against poison, and it was believed it could scare away poisonous vermin and reptiles of land and sea.

SERAPHINITE is derived from the Greek word SERAPHIM which alludes to the Biblical angel with three pairs of wings. This is because Seraphinite occurs with silvery feather-like chatoyant fibers which are the result of mica inclusions.

Seraphinite is a variety of Clinochlore, which belongs to the chlorite group.

Seraphinite hardness ranges from 2 - 2.5 on the Mohs scale and occurs with a perfect cleavage. Because of this, Serephinite is seldom used in jewelry but when it is it is usually cut en cabochon or carved into spheres or other shaped, tumbled and fancy cut. To improve its durability, Seraphinite is impregnated with polymer.

Serephinite is also known as "the angel stone" or "angel's wing stone" and crystal healers everywhere say that it is a powerful spiritual stone that brings communication between the physical self and the spirit realm. It also brings balance in the emotional self.

In the middle ages, Seraphinite was worn as an amulet to prevent snake bites just as they used Serpentine.

Maw-Sit-Sit occurs in a monoclinic, prismatic crystal structure. Its color ranges from bright to dark-green with white or dark-green to blackish spots or veins. It has a glassy to oily (greasy) luster.

Maw-sit-sit has a hardness rating of 6 to 7 on the Mohs scale. It is usually opaque and in some rare cases translucent and is almost always cut as cabochons or carved.

Green Maw-Sit-Sit is a green gemstone similar to Jade. It was first found in the northern Burmese village of Maw-Sit-Sit. It is a rock rather than a mineral with interesting patches and feathering.

Maw-Sit-Sit is connected with healing, prosperity, abundance, luck and Mother-Earth. It protects the wearer from negative energy and evil. It nurtures a sad and broken heart.

Pure blue chrysocolla is only 2 to 4 on Mohs hardness scale. Different intergrowths of minerals and the amount of silica during its formation affects and increases its hardness. For example, if a specimen is intermingled with quartz which has a hardness of 7, then this piece of chrysocolla will have 7 on Mohs hardness scale.

Its transparency is opaque sometimes near translucent. It has a waxy, glass-like luster.

The most highly esteemed Chrysocolla gemstones are those that come in intense blue and green. Those that are intermingled with turquoise blue and light green are also sought after.

Ancient Greeks and Romans, not to mention Ancient Egyptians, made powerful magical amulets with chrysocolla for protection in this life and for the journey to the afterlife. In ancient Egypt, it was also used as amulets to protect children. Chrysocolla was the gemstone favored by the Roman Emperor Nero.

The Incas, Mesoamericans as well as North American Natives, used chrysocolla to decorate their ritual objects and in their spiritual ceremonies.

Chrysocollas was known as the wisdom stone. It brings mental clarity and was effective in negotiation skills. It was also the favorite gemstone of midwives, healers, grandmothers or wise women. It was used when these wise women gave their talks and passed on their knowledge to the next generation.

Chrysocolla is honored alongside the Greek Goddess of Wisdom, Sophia. It has a powerful feminine energy. Women believed it made them strong and beautiful. Cleopatra was known to wear Chrysocolla jewelry wherever she went.

VERDITE derives its name from the Latin VERDE and the Greek LITHOS meaning Green Stone.

Verdite is the light to dark-green metamorphic rock made up of Fuchsite and fine grain clay. Fuchsite is the green variety of muscovite which is part of the mica mineral group. This make Verdite a close relation to Lepidolite, Biotite and Buddstone (the so-called African Jade).

Verdite sometimes is also sold as African Jade. What distinguishes Verdite from Jade is their hardness level on the Mohs scale. Jade has a hardness ranging from 6 to 7 while Verdite's is 3.

Verdite also looks similar to Serpentine. However, the difference is in their refractive index. Verdite refractive index, for example, is 1.580 whereas Serpentine refractive index ranges from 1.560 to 1.571.

The Shona people of Zimbabwe say that Verdite has the ability to promote fertility and fidelity. This makes it a stone for lovers.

Verdite is connected with power, wisdom, truth and reliability. It is also associated with decision making, wealth (like most green gemstones are), and psychic healing. Verdite is also believed to benefit the lungs, endocrine system and the thymus gland.

The most common colors in agate are green, yellow, red, brown, white, black, gray, lilac and pink. It is translucent to opaque and comes in rounded nodules with colored inclusions.

Agate has a waxy-dull luster and a Mohs hardness rating of about 7. This means that it can scratch glass and it can withstand scratches from a knife. It is also hard enough to be made into any type of jewelry design.

Green agate also comes in large sizes, shapes, cuts with affordable prices.

Agate is a gemstone of abundance, wealth, love and security. It was believed that amulets made from agate protected the wearer from thunder and lightning, tempests, all malevolent elements, and dangers from war. Placing one in the mouth also relieved fever. Agate mixed with certain fruit juices was thought to cure insanity.

VARISCITE Gemstone is of a hydrated aluminium phosphate chemical composition. It is a relatively rare mineral which is often confused with Chrysocolla or Turquoise because of its similarity in colour ranging from pale to dark green depending on the chromium and vanadium content. However, Variscite is greener in color.

Its appearance looks so much like Turquoise that without standard gemological tests, it is very hard to distinguish them.

Variscite has a hardness of 4.5 on the Mohs scale whereas its lookalike Turquoise is harder at 5 to 6. Turquoise obtains its color from traces of copper whereas Variscite is colored from traces of chromium and vanadium.

Variscite is also confused with Chrysocolla. However, Chrysocolla has a hardness ranging from 2 to 4 on the Mohs scale. Moreover, when cut and polished, Variscite has a more glass-like luster than both Turquoise and Chrysocolla.

It has a perfect cleavage with a strong pale green and green fluorescence.

Variscite is a powerful stone for overcoming stress and anxiety. It is a bringer of happiness, inner peace and harmony for those who carry or wear it as jewelry. It is also a bringer of wealth as green is the symbol of wealth and rebirth and intellect.

Variscite is believed to arouse feelings of compassion and love.

Ruby Zoisite has a mottled appearance of green Zoisite with large inclusions of red Ruby and black Hornblende. It has a perfect cleavage and is opaque. When cut and polished, top-grade Ruby Zoisite exhibits a glass-like luster.

Ruby Zoisite has a hardness of 6.5 to 7 on the Mohs scale, which means that it is apt for most types of jewelry.

Ruby Zoisite gemstone has the healing properties of red Ruby and green Zoisite and black Hornblende.

The red of Ruby represents the eternal Fire. The green in Zoisite represents the element of Earth. It is a perfect gemstone to balance the elements and energies of Fire and Earth.

Cat’s Eye Quartz is quartz in which fibrous inclusions of rutile cause light to be reflected back resembling the eye of a cat. This effect is known as chatoyancy.

Quartz comes in many colors including green (Prasiolite), purple/violet (Amethyst), yellow and purple (Ametrine), yellow/orange (Citrine), pink (Rose Quartz), brown (Smoky Quartz) and colorless (Rock Crystal).

Quartz Cat's Eye has a hardness of 7 which is perfect for rings and bracelets. It is a powerful stone for protection against evil spirits and witchcraft or the evil eye. It is believed that it increases psychic abilities and intuition.

Cat's-eye Actinolite is of an amphibole silicate chemical composition. It occurs in a monoclinic crystal structure. It has a hardness of 5.5 to 6 on the Mohs scale, with a good cleavage.

Cat's-eye Actinolite is translucent to opaque, and is usually green to yellowish-green in color similar to that of fine Jade. It also occurrs in a variety of colors.

Cat's-eye Actinolite is very popular for its metaphysical abilities. It is the stone per excellence that crystal healers use for spiritual and physical healing. It is known to channel life force and promote growth and fertility so much so that it was often placed in gardens to promote growth of plants.

Due to it occurring in a variety of colors, it is also used for balancing the energy centers in the body known as chakras. It is believed that it produces soothing energies and awareness. Being so similar to Nephrite Jade, Cat's-eye Actinolite also carries the powers and healing metaphysical properties of Nephrite Jade.

Every color of the rainbow in various shades is represented by fluorite samples, along with white, black, and clear crystals. The most common colors are GREEN, purple, blue, yellow, or colorless; less common are pink, red, white, brown, and black.

The magical properties of this stone have just recently been discussed. For example, it is believed that fluorite cleanses your auric field, unblocks and stimulates all your chakras so that it wakes your system up physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. It enables mental clarity and resilience and helps to relieve stress and anxiety.

It balances both sides of the brain hemispheres. When both sides are synchronised, creativity and ingenuity blossoms into limitless ideas and a drive to succeed.

Green Fluorite has a hardness of 4 which means that it can easily be scratched if worn as a ring. It is better suited as a pendant.

Other green gemstones not discussed here include:
Green Bloodstone (hardness 6.5 - 7); Jade: Jadeite and Nephrite (Jadeite is 6.5 to 7 on Mohs hardness scale while nephrite is slightly softer at 6 to 6.5); Green Sapphire (with a hardness of 9); Green Emerald (hardness of 7.5 to 8); Tsavorite Garnet (with a hardness of 6.5 - 7.5); Green Peridot (with a hardness of 7); Green Apatite (with a hardness of 5); Green Tourmaline (with a hardness of 7.5); Demantoid Garnet (with a hardness of 7.5); Green Sphene (with a hardness of 5 - 5.5); Chrome Diopside (5 - 6 hardness); Green Idocrase (6.5 hardness); Green Grandidierite (with a hardness ranging from 7 - 7.5); Green Kornerupine (hardness 3.5 - 4); and Green Hiddenite (hardness 6.5 - 7).

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Alice Koh