Emeralds, from the lush greens of a rainforest canopy to the blue-green hues of Caribbean waters, are considered to be one of three most coveted colored gemstones in the world. (Sapphires and rubies are the other two gemstones in this prestigious group.) For centuries, the most beautiful emeralds in the world were known to come from Columbia. They are also mined extensively in Brazil, Zimbabwe and Zambia. Emeralds are fairly hard, commanding a 7.5 to 8 on the Mohs hardness scale (diamonds are a 10), so they are suitable for gemstone jewelry that will be worn on a daily basis. Emeralds are typically filled with resin or oil. Sometimes they can also be dyed or stained. If you are fond of these regal green gemstones you will be equally mesmerized by the following captivating alternatives:
1. Chrome Diopside
If you love dark green emeralds, chrome diopside is the alternative gemstone for you. The most prized hue is a deep forest green color with fiery yellow undertones. This coveted variety comes from Siberia. Chrome diopside has a Mohs hardness rating of 5.5 to 6.5 so it is susceptible to scratches. If you are going to wear chrome diopside frequently, choose to purchase it in pendants or earrings rather than bracelets or rings. Pendants and earrings tend to see less wear. Chrome diopside has few if any natural inclusions and therefore does not need to be treated to enhance its attributes.
2. Chrome Tourmaline
Chrome Tourmaline is also great alternative gemstone for those who love dark green emeralds. It is a deep green with muted moss-green or neon-green undertones, unlike the yellow undertones of chrome diopside. It comes from Tanzania. Chrome tourmaline has a Mohs hardness rating of 7 to 7.5 so it is suitable for everyday wear. Like chrome diopside, it does not need to be treated to enhance its attributes.
3. Tsavorite Garnet
Tsavorite garnet hails from Kenya, Tanzania and Pakistan. It is forest green in color. Like chrome diopside and chrome tourmaline, it can have yellow or moss green undertones. The most prized tsavorite garnets have blue-green undertones. These tsavorite garnets will captivate those who love emeralds with the same blue-green hue. Tsavorite garnet has a Mohs hardness rating of 7 to 7.5, making it suitable for everyday wear. It does not need to be enhanced with treatments.
4. Green Apatite
Green Apatite is found worldwide but notable sources of gem-quality stone are found in Russia, Brazil and Madagascar. It is a lovely medium green color with light silver-green undertones. If you prefer light green emeralds, you will like green apatite. Apatite has a Mohs hardness rating of 5, so care must be taken not to scratch it. Therefore, it is a prudent choice for pendants and earrings because these pieces typically see less wear than bracelets or rings. Green apatite does not need to be treated to enhance its attributes.
If you love the majestic green hues of emeralds, consider adding some captivating alternative gemstones to your collection. Chrome diopside and chrome tourmaline are gorgeous gemstones that could pass for emeralds with their rich green hues. Tsavorite garnets and green apatite are also lovely alternatives to emeralds that you might find captivating.