Green is the color of nature, renewal, and growth. It represents the tranquility of the natural world, but also the inexperienced or unready. What special significance do we attach to green gemstones? Let’s peel back the curtain and discover the hidden lore surrounding the many green gems we know.

Emerald solitaire ring in 14K yellow gold.
Emerald is often considered the quintessential green gemstone.

What is the meaning of green stones? Colored gemstones captivate us, delighting the senses with their bold and vibrant colors. Anyone can appreciate the beauty that they possess.

For others, however, there is a deeper importance, and colored gems, including green gemstones, are part of this. Believers draw upon centuries of lore that strengthens their appreciation of green stones.


Throughout history, many healing properties are ascribed to green gems. They have been used for harmonizing, detoxifying, and regeneration. Verdant green hues are nearly universal as a symbol of nature, growth, and even luck.

Chrome diopside three stone ring in 14K yellow gold.
Russian chrome diopside is an increasingly popular green stone.

During the Middle Ages, many lapidary books sprung up, cataloging the effects of various jewels. These writers considered green gems to be “eye stones,” meaning they were effective treatments for ailments related to eyesight and eye health.

This belief traces back to Ancient Greece. Among the works of Theophrastus, it was said that eye strain could be relieved by gazing upon emerald gems.

Peridot five stone ring in 10K yellow gold.
Peridot is often considered a lucky stone.

These ancient scholars may have been onto something. Newer studies indicated that viewing greenery may benefit our eyesight after all!

During the seventeenth century, powdered emerald was used as a medicine. It was used in treating a wide variety of ailments, including dysentery, epilepsy, snake bites, scorpion stings, and reducing fevers.


In gem therapy, color holds a great significance. They say that the color of a gem helps balance the energy of the body, and that the right stones can help enrich one’s well-being. In these traditions, especially those like Ayurvedic practices, green gemstones represent the sphere of friendship, freedom, empathy, and an open mind.

Green jade men's ring in sterling silver.
Jade has special meaning in Chinese culture.

There are seven primary chakras in the body. And to those that believe, energy flows along this course. But, when energy is blocked in a certain part of the body, that part will not function properly. Restoring this flow of energy is said to improve feelings of wellness.

The heart chakra is centered in the middle of the chest. It is thought to govern the heart and circulatory system. When the heart chakra is open, a person is said to experience feelings of joy and friendship, projecting all about them. Those with an open heart are very empathetic.

Green is the color of the heart chakra, and green gemstones are said to be especially beneficial. These can be light green gemstones like peridot or apatite, but also darker colored gems like chrome diopside.  


During the eighteenth century, Giacinto Gimma published a treatise on gemstones and their prosperities. In his work, Della storia naturale della Gemme, Gimma explained the significance of color in precious stones for men and women.

Giancinto Gimma / Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Green stones for men are associated with joy, hope, but also the decline of friendship. Green stones for women, on the other hand, are linked to ambition, change, and child-like delight.

Gimma also explains that in times ancient to his own, emerald rings were a grave good. Placing the ring on the index finger of the deceased, it symbolizes a person who died in their youth. It represents the light of youth being extinguished.


Early Christian artists used colors in a symbolic fashion, and these colors carried a deep meaning to both the artist and viewer. In these early times, green meant bounty, hope, mirth, youth, and prosperity.

Prasiolite ring in gold vermeil.
Prasiolite is the green variety of quartz.

With green stones, emerald is the gem of choice. We knew fewer colored stones in the old days. To early Christians, emerald means hope in immortality, deep faith, and victory over sin and the trials of life.

An early Christian poem, translated by Rev. J.M. Neale in Medieval Hymns and Sequences, exalts emerald.

The emerald burns, intensely bright,
With radiance of an olive light:
This is the faith that highest shines,
No deed of charity declines,
And seeks no rest, and shuns no strife,
In working out a holy life.

-Marbodus, Bishop of Rennes

Besides emerald, Rev. Neale notes that other green stones carry the same symbolism as the color green.

Green aventurine ring in sterling silver.
Aventurine is the origin of the term aventurescence.

Further Reading

Green gemstones have truly made a profound impact across world culture. Learn more about green stones through these articles.

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