Green Tourmaline vs Emerald: Key Differences

Posted on December 29th, 2023 11:14 AM

When talking about green-colored gemstones, emeralds come to mind first. Many gems appear to have the same green tourmaline as one of them. Both these gems, though, share similar colors but are different in many ways.

Each of these stones is admired for their stunning appearance, but exploring their differences is equally important. There are many points on which emerald stone and tourmaline differ, setting them apart in jewelry and astrology. This blog delves into the issues of differentiation, highlighting the individual attributes, origins, and distinct energies they bring to those fortunate enough to adorn them.


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Unveiling the Physical Disparities: Green Tourmaline (Verdelite) vs Emerald

The first and foremost point of differentiation between the two gemstones is their physical appearance. Of course, this is one reason few people consider them identical. They appear green at first glance, and one might get confused with their identity. 

Chemical Composition 

Emerald gemstone is a mineral variety of beryl, whereas green tourmaline is a silicate of aluminum and boron. The difference between these two gemstones relies on chemical composition. Where green emerald stone has traces of iron, vanadium, and chromium, the green variety of tourmaline consists of elements such as manganese, calcium, sodium, manganese, zinc, iron, chromium, and vanadium. However, the fantastic green color in both gemstones is due to the presence of chromium. 

Exploring the Difference in Color 

The most specific difference people often confuse among these two gemstones is their similar color. The color is not identical, but it appears to be when kept alongside. Emerald ( Panna stone ) features a lush green color that is its characteristic color, differentiating it from other gemstones like tourmaline and peridot. This verdant color is reminiscent of lush green landscapes. The color ranges from vivid green to bluish and yellowish green. In comparison, green tourmaline stone features a pale olive green to a stunning green hue, making it a near resemblance to sometimes peridot or emerald. 

exploring the difference in color

Unveiling the Clarity and Pattern 

The green beryls have type 3 inclusions. The common inclusions natural to panna stones are called jardin. Natural emerald stone with minimal or no inclusions are difficult to find and are considered valuable. Moreover, these stones with even distribution of color are highly desirable. Green tourmaline, on the other hand, ranges from transparent to opaque. These are less expensive as compared to panna gems. 

Origin of Gemstones 

Natural green emeralds are created from beryl minerals. This mineral comprises beryllium, silicon, oxygen, and aluminum and is found in metamorphic and granite rocks. Under the right pressure and temperature conditions, the gemstone crystals start forming. These beryl gemstones are found in Madagascar, Zambia, Colombia, Brazil, Canada, Australia, the U.S., and many others. 

Green Tourmaline formation occurs in igneous rocks such as granite, pegmatite, and volcanic rocks. The elements necessary for this gemstone formation include boron, lithium, and others. Like other gemstone formations, the right pressure and temperature are required to form the green variety of tourmaline. The noteworthy sources from which these gems include Sri Lanka, Brazil, Afghanistan, Madagascar, and the U.S.

origin of gemstones

Hardness of the Gemstones 

The hardness of the gemstone determines its ability to resist wear and tear. Panna stone ranks fair on Moh's hardness scale at 7.5-8, whereas green tourmaline ranks at 7-7.5. Though both these gemstones are compatible with jewelry, emeralds are more scratch-resistant. 

Emerald jewelry has been the favorite of royals and elites. Whether in earrings, emerald rings , necklaces, or bracelets, these gems are loved for their exquisite luster and hardness. 

hardness of the gemstones

Difference in Metaphysical Properties 

Emerald gemstones and green tourmaline are both known for their astrological significance. While the former is related to vitality, wisdom, and creativity, the latter symbolizes new beginnings, love, and affection. There are no particular differences between the two gemstones' significance as both represent the same color. Both these gemstones are associated with the heart chakras. 

The green beryl stone is the birthstone of May, while the green variety of tourmaline is the birthstone of October. In addition to this, there are differences between the zodiac signs and the significant gemstones as well. Who should wear a panna stone? Taurus and Gemini should wear these green gems. Libra and Scorpio are allowed to wear green tourmaline. 

What is the Preferable Cut?

The preferable cut for emerald stone is an emerald cut. These stones are brittle, and this cut was invented to prevent them from breaking. Emerald cut offers high brilliance and intense color to the stone. Green tourmalines can be cut differently; an emerald cut can lend a darker shade to the stone. The color intensity in the case of tourmalines is also one factor that stresses the fact that they should be cut precisely. 

Difference in Price 

The price of both these gemstones depends upon the 4C's.  Emerald stone price starts from INR 2,000 to INR 70,000 and can extend even more depending on the quality and origin of the stone. On the other hand, the green tourmaline stone price starts from INR 400 to INR 2,000. It can be inferred that panna stones are costly compared to green tourmalines. While the former accounts for heirloom jewelry, the latter is a budget-friendly option for those looking for green gems. 

In conclusion, while these gems share a captivating green hue, they differ significantly in composition, durability, and metaphysical properties. Prized for centuries, Emeralds are part of historical narratives and symbolize luxury. With their vibrant color and astrological allure, they persist as timeless adornments. On the other hand, Green Tourmalines, though valued for their beauty, offer a more budget-friendly alternative with varied color possibilities. Understanding these distinctions allows enthusiasts and collectors to appreciate each gemstone's unique attributes, whether it be the regal charm of emeralds or the versatile allure of Green Tourmaline.

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