Green is a very popular gemstone color. There are many green gems.
Green garnets? Most people have never heard of tsavorite and would be surprised to learn that it is a green garnet. Tsavorite has a wonderful bright green color, and its clarity is superior to emeralds of much higher price for a similar-size gem.
Tsavorite was discovered in 1967 near the community of Lemshuko in northeastern Tanzania. The prospectors who found it tried to get government permission to open a mine but were denied. So, they searched for similar rock units in neighboring parts of Kenya and discovered tsavorite there in 1971.
The gem was first promoted by Tiffany and Company, who gave it the name "tsavorite" - what a cool name! It was named after Tsavo East National Park in Kenya, near where the gem was first mined. Tsavorite has become a gem that is desirable in its own right and serves as an alternative gem for emerald. It is less expensive than emerald, but has a higher clarity and is more resistant to breaking. It is a little softer than emerald but hard enough to be used in almost any type of jewelry.
Malachite has been used as a gemstone and sculptural material for thousands of years and is still popular today.
People enjoy malachite's range of vivid green colors, its bright polish, and the bands and eyes displayed on polished surfaces. Its green color does not fade over time, and that is why powdered malachite has been used as a pigment and coloring agent for thousands of years.
Malachite is a popular material for producing cabochons and beads. It is also cut into thin strips that are used as inlay materials or to make small boxes and ornamental objects.
Although Malachite is popular, its use is limited because it is brittle and has a hardness of only 3.5 to 4. It is not suitable for use in a ring, bracelet, or other jewelry item that might suffer abrasion or impact. In jewelry, malachite is best used in pendants, pins, and earrings.
Diopside is a beautiful and relatively inexpensive gemstone that is occasionally seen in commercial jewelry. Specimens that contain chromium have a brilliant green color. Many people who see chrome diopside in a jewelry display initially think that it is an emerald. Then they are surprised to learn it is a gem they have never heard about.
Diopside is a gem best used in earrings, pendants, pins, and brooches because it has a low hardness and fragile cleavage. It is unsuitable for rings and bracelets unless it is placed in a setting that will provide protection against abrasion and impact.
In addition to the green chrome diopside, the gem occurs in two different appearances. One is a translucent light blue to purple granular material known as "violane" which is used for cabochons, beads, and ornamental projects. The other, called "star diopside," is a dark opaque gem with a silk of fine inclusions that, when cut into cabochons, exhibits asterism.