Green Diamonds vs Emeralds: The Big Differences

They sit side-by-side, dazzling in their aura and allure – green diamonds and emeralds. Both beautiful and captivating, these jewels are symbols of power adored by many throughout the ages. Like two sisters wearing lush gowns of vibrant hues, each jewel can take your breath away with its sparkling glamor.

But when choosing a stunning green stone, what differences between these two should you know? That’s what I’ll do – extensive emeralds vs. diamonds comparison to ensure your green rock’s shine is unmatchable.

So let’s dive deeper and learn how these two green color stones compare!

Green Diamonds vs Emeralds

Comparing Green Diamonds and Emeralds on 6 Parameters

Gemstones are treasured as symbols of beauty, wealth, and power. Every stone has a certain brightness that captivates its admirer, sending them into a world of mystique and marvel. Two highly desired gemstones are green diamonds and emeralds – both shimmer in the light with the finest tones of green hues.

However, they differ vastly in color intensity and composition – offering unique value to the wearer’s style. Here’s what sets these rocks apart:

1. Composition

Green diamonds, also known as “chameleon” diamonds, get their unique color from natural radiation exposure which is usual for colorless diamonds. This green body creates a complex composition of nitrogen atoms within the diamond that absorbs different wavelengths of light to give it its green hue.

Likewise, emeralds get their fancy color from chromium, vanadium, and iron impurities within their crystal structure. Because these elements are present throughout the entire stone, emeralds tend to have a deeper green hue than green diamonds.

2. Color

Both these green color stones are stunning; the difference is in their natural color. Green diamonds range from light minty green to a deep olive hue on the green color scale. Depending on the cut, clarity, and carat diamond weight, they can appear more yellowish-green, blueish-green, or anything in between!

Emeralds, meanwhile, come in a range of greens that tend to skew towards yellowish-green. Most emeralds have some degree of “inclusions”—tiny bubbles or lines within the gemstone—which can affect its hue slightly. Generally speaking, though, emeralds are usually brighter and more vibrant than green diamonds.

3. Hardness

In terms of hardness, green diamonds rank much higher than emeralds on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness, with a rating of 10 compared to 7-7.5 for emerald cuts. This makes a green diamond center stone more resistant to scratches and abrasions, ensuring your favorite color of jewelry turns out to be the prettiest. At the same time, it means that cutting and polishing these rough diamonds requires specialized techniques and tools due to their extreme hardness.

Also, read Why Are Diamonds So Hard?

Although beautiful emerald jewelry has a lower hardness rating than green diamonds, they’re still brittle enough to stand the test of time. Oftentimes, gem cutters leave Columbian emeralds (and lab-create emerald green stones) as is and don’t change their shape because of possible cracks. But when compared to brilliant diamonds, an art déco emerald will surely feel much softer to be shaped for a green diamond engagement ring.


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4. Brilliance and Clarity

Green diamonds are graded in the same saturated colors as regular white diamonds, with D being the highest color grade. The closer to D, the more brilliant and clear the diamond will be. Emeralds, however, are usually graded based on their hue – the greener an emerald, the rarer it is.

In terms of clarity, emeralds can range from slightly included (VSI) to heavily included (HI) range of color. Emeralds also come in many shades of green ranging from light to dark; this means that a “D” grade emerald is not necessarily the most brilliant green gemstone available.

I should also note that green diamonds and emeralds require different care and maintenance when kept for long periods. While green diamonds don’t require much upkeep because they are less prone to scratches or discoloration, they should still be cleaned. The same goes for retaining the beauty of emeralds!

Related article: What Is the Brilliance of a Diamond, and Why Does It Shine?

5. Style and Personal Taste

Green diamond jewelry appears to be glowing from within, with its vibrant hues ranging from light mint to deep jade. They are one of the rarest natural-colored diamonds and often command higher prices than traditional white diamonds. This shield-shaped diamond is perfect for someone who loves timeless elegance but wants a hint of alternative flair. The perfect way to wear this stone is as an eye-catching solitaire or even with other precious stones in a modern design.

An eye-clean emerald will have an intense, captivating color that ranges from bright grass green to dark teal blue. These stones have been treasured throughout history, often associated with royalty and luxury. With their captivating depths, emeralds are ideal for someone who appreciates classic beauty combined with a bolder statement piece. When wearing emeralds, think of striking centerpieces such as earrings or necklaces that will attract attention but won’t overpower your entire look.

Both green diamonds and emeralds can add a unique style element to any outfit – the question is just which one fits you best? Whichever color green gem you choose, these gorgeous gemstones will bring out your inner sparkle.

6. Pricing

When it comes to pricing when making a choice between emerald jewelry and green diamonds, the latter is much more expensive because of their small supply, which makes them highly sought after by collectors. Additionally, they tend to be found in only certain parts of the world and require special mining techniques to bring them to the surface. Although lab-grown diamonds are now common, the supply chain is still quite stiff.

Emeralds, however, are less pricey because of their variety. You can find a low-gradient natural emerald stone for a budget-friendly price range, while some unique ones can cost more than diamonds.

Depending on their source location, emeralds may fetch higher prices than expected due to their superior quality or color intensity.

Therefore, I can’t give you a ballpark figure about these rocks’ pricing since it varies massively.

Also read:


Are green diamonds valuable?

Yes, green diamonds are precious and can be extremely expensive. They are relatively rare compared to other diamond colors, making them highly sought after. Green diamonds can come in many shades, ranging from light yellowish-green to deep blue-green. The price of a green diamond depends on its size, color saturation, clarity, and cut.

How can you tell if a green diamond is real?

One way to tell if a green diamond is real is by checking its certificate. A gemologist or jeweler can also use specific tests, such as the thermal conductivity test, to determine if a diamond is real. Another way to check is to look for imperfections or inclusions in the stone, as these are rarely found in lab-created stones. You can also take it to an experienced appraiser who can examine it and give an honest assessment.

What is the most famous green diamond?

The most famous green diamond is the 41-carat Dresden Green diamond – the largest naturally occurring green diamond found to date. It weighs a staggering 40.70 carats in its pear-shaped cut, making it a rare and remarkable example of a natural green diamond. The stone has an intense grass-green color, giving it an otherworldly charm that has captivated gem lovers.

Wrap-Up: What’s the Difference Between Green Diamonds and Emeralds?

Both emeralds and green diamonds are truly remarkable gems, each captivating with unique characteristics. You can draw on the tranquil beauty of emeralds to inspire a deeper appreciation for nature, while green diamonds invite a sense of refined luxury. But both gems provide an opportunity to add an exotic sparkle to life, whether you choose sparkle or tranquility. Above all, choosing between emeralds and green diamonds is about preference—preferring the natural diamond qualities of earth versus the brilliance—and it’s a personal decision that should be based on your aesthetic preferences.


James Allen Logo

James Allen is our most recommended online jeweler that guarantees a wonderful online shopping experience. You will find the most beautiful and best quality diamonds available for very competitive prices.

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