Professional Jeweler Archive: Turning Green

June 2000

Gemstones & Pearls/New Products


Turning Green

The jewelry industry and haute couture team up in the quest for color


Green’s powerful connection to nature makes it a popular color in everything from home decorating to apparel. This should make selling green gemstones easier than ever.

Nature provides a range of green gemstones to suit any preference. Because treatment concerns have left some consumers timid about emerald, doors have opened for other green gems. “Peridot from Afghanistan offers intense color saturation, and blue/green tourmaline reflects the colors in silk,” says Barbara Westwood, designer/owner of Barbara Westwood Designs, Monument, CO. Here are some other green gemstones to present to your customers who favor this shade.

Alexandrite – This chameleon-like gemstone changes from green in daylight or fluorescent light to brown or purplish-red in incandescent light.

Bloodstone – An opaque to semitranslucent variety of chalcedony, this gem is dark green flecked with red and was once honored as a talisman believed to stop bleeding and bring healing.

Cat’s Eye – This chrysoberyl ranges from brown to greenish yellow. The chatoyant band in cat’s eyes appears to blink when you hold the stone between two light sources and rotate it.

Chrysoprase – The name means golden apple and it is semitransparent to translucent, light to medium yellowish green.

Demantoid – In Dutch, the name means “diamond-like.” While demantoid is softer than diamond, its dispersion is higher, so it has noticeable flashes of rainbow colors. This lush green gem is a member of the garnet group.

Emerald – The most famous member of the beryl family, emerald supposedly has the power to make its wearer more intelligent. Emerald has been the subject of controversy in the past few years because of non-disclosure of treatments, so study before selling it.

Jadeite Jade – The coloration is often mottled, giving jadeite gemstones an interesting visual texture that carvers use to create imaginative and intriguing effects. The finest quality jadeite, almost transparent with a vibrant emerald green, is known as Imperial jade.

Nephrite Jade – Referred to as the “toughest of minerals,” it was shaped into weapons, tools, ornaments and ritual objects during the Stone Age. Its name means “kidney stone,” which refers to the medicinal use of jadeite. Nephrite jade has long been confused with jadeite jade.

Malachite – Egyptians used it for jewelry as early as 4000 B.C. Today, it can be found as beads, cabochons, tablets, inlays and carvings. Its weighty feel enhances the sense of its value. Be cautious, however, because malachite is considered an “extra care” gem because of its softness.

Peridot – This gem is relatively inexpensive and plentiful and is normally available in standard shapes and calibrated sizes up to about 5 carats. It’s often combined with gems in contrasting colors, such as amethyst, citrine and pink tourmaline.

Tourmaline – Chrome tourmaline is an intense green. Much of this is colored by vanadium, the same element that colors many Brazilian and African emeralds. Before modern mineralogy, this tourmaline was often mistaken for emerald.

Tsavorite – Part of the garnet family, tsavorite is found in only a few places so supplies are limited. It’s generally available from 0.50 to 3 carats. Because of its bright color, tsavorite has become one of the most sought-after and expensive garnets. The largest faceted tsavorite on record weighs just under 24 carats.

Zircon – This gemstone has a medium hardness, and the heat treatment that produces many of its colors can also make it brittle. For this reason, it’s safest to recommend zircon in earrings or pendants to keep it from becoming scratched and abraded.

Because green is striking by itself, keep display backgrounds white. For added interest, show this jewelry on displays of varying heights for impact. But be careful not to cram in too many pieces. You don’t want to overwhelm your showcase or your customers.

– by Lorraine M. Suermann

Each piece crafted in 18k gold has a Sabi finish that embraces peridot and diamonds.

Henry Dunay, New York City; (800) 888-2525 or (212) 768-9700, fax (212) 944-0308.

Designed by Marc Höllmüller of Switzerland, this platinum ring is set with green tourmaline, pink sapphire and diamond accents.

Barker & Co., Scottsdale, AZ; (480) 483-0780, fax (480) 483-1403, bbarkerandco@msn.com.

14k gold ring features a 1.75-ct. trillion green tourmaline and G-H/SI1 diamond accents. Suggested retail, $1,199.

Frank Reubel Designs Inc., Flagler Beach, FL; (888) 439-0272 or (904) 439-0272, fax (904) 439-1318.

18k gold surrounds this 87.47-ct. yellow beryl GemDrop cut by Fritz Wilhous of Philipp Becker Co. It hangs from an 18k gold slide set with 0.90 carat of diamond pavé. Suggested retail, $9,500 for the GemDrop and $3,000 for the slide.

Barbara Westwood Designs, Monument, CO; (719) 488-8083, fax (719) 488-8180.

5.36-ct. green tourmaline is bezel-set in an 18k gold pendant featuring burnish-set diamonds. Suggested retail, $1,845.

Kim Koch Designs, Mequon, WI; (414) 241-8244, fax (414) 241-1360.

14k yellow gold and peridot lever-back earrings are $240 retail.

Elite Designs Inc., Miami, FL; (800) 757-1008 or (305) 373-1934, fax (305) 358-0805.

18k white gold and diamond ring features oval Colombian emerald center.

DeOro International LLC, Hollywood, FL; (954) 924-9090 or (305) 705-0481.

Necklace comprises baroque blue and green tourmaline cabochons and South Sea pearls.

De Vroomen, London, England; (44-171) 837-4914, fax (44-171) 837-2891, leo@devroomen.co.uk.

Available in 14k white or yellow gold, these rings are set with a 7mm x 5mm oval peridot and diamond accents. Suggested retail, $175.

A&Z Hayward, East Providence, RI; (401) 438-0550.

20.01-ct. cabochon sugarloaf-cut emerald is surrounded by 4.30 carats of old-mine-cut diamonds.

Precious Gem Resources Inc., New York City; (212) 688-6700, fax (212) 688-2747.

This cascade necklace features a 7.06-ct. green tourmaline center, 2.71 carats of red tourmaline and 1.58 carats of chrome diopside set into a 16-in. hand-crocheted 18k yellow and white gold necklace. Suggested retail, $12,500.

Michael David Sturlin, Scottsdale, AZ; (480) 941-4105, fax (480) 947-2213, msturlin@uswest.net.

Top ring is crafted in 18k gold set with a 1.0-ct. oval emerald, 0.31 carat of diamonds and opal inlay (suggested retail, $6,685). The ring at bottom right is 18k gold with a 0.45-ct. square octagon emerald, 0.48 carat of diamonds and opal inlay ($4,155). The ring at bottom left is 18k set with 0.88-ct. emerald-cut emerald, 0.35 carat of diamonds and opal inlay ($4,725).

Kabana, Albuquerque, NM; (800) 521-5986 or (505) 843-9330, fax (505) 843-9624, kabana@kabana.net.

Sterling silver and 14k gold suite is set with 7mm x 5mm oval faceted peridots. Suggested retail, $99-$139.

Van Dell, Providence, RI; (800) 826-3355 or (401) 943-2100, fax (401) 943-4230.

18k yellow and pink gold pendant features a green tourmaline. Suggested retail, $1,260.

William Richey Designs, Portland, ME; (800) 824-2417, www.wmrichey.com, richeydes@aol.com.

From the Fanfare Collection, these 18k gold earrings and pendant are set with peridot briolettes. Keystone, $300-$320.

Conni Mainne Designs, El Cerrito, CA; (510) 559-7823.

10k suite is accented with 12k rose and green gold leaves and set with peridot. Triple keystone, necklace $303, earrings $192 and ring $195.

Black Hills Gold Jewelry by Coleman, Rapid City, SD; (800) 874-9926 or (605) 394-3767, fax (605) 394-3719.

Peridot ring and hoop earrings are crafted in 18k white and yellow gold. Suggested retail, $695 for the ring, $1,155 for the earrings.

The John Hardy Collection ViewPoint Showrooms, New York City; (800) 2J HARDY.

18k green gold enhancer features a 7mm Spirit Sun faceted Namibian tourmaline and 0.32 carat of diamond pavé. Suggested retail, $2,514.

Glen J. Engelbrecht for G.J. Designs, Sarasota, FL; (941) 951-6658, fax (941) 365-2577.

Apple-green carved jade butterfly pin has a white gold body set with diamond accents. Suggested retail, $6,800.

Mason-Kay, Denver, CO; (303) 393-7575, fax (303) 393-0201.


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