By Glenda Argo
Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Green is the color of the day – the wearing of the green, shamrocks, green beer, a river of green, etc. I’m not Irish, but after visiting Ireland a few years ago, I feel a kinship with and affection for that beautiful country and its people, and a new appreciation for their national holiday. And I’m wearing green!
“Green is the prime color of the world, and that from which its loveliness arises.”
Pedro Calderon de la Barca, Spanish poet and playwright, 1600 – 1681
Green soothes the tired eye, invigorates the spirit and is packed with symbolism.
If you’re stressed, get outside and spend time in nature as a powerful antidote. Fresh air, sunshine and, yes, part of that equation is the color green. Decorators use it in rooms designed for relaxation and recharging.
Green symbolizes the natural world and environmental consciousness. Green is the color of Spring, renewal and rejuvenation.
Green also evokes growth, prosperity and wealth, hence the color of money.
Why do we wear green on St. Patrick’s Day?
If you’ve ever seen Ireland, you know why it’s called the Emerald Isle. Nowhere is one more aware of the myriad shades of green and their effect on the soul. These are a few shots from our trip in which I tried to capture the lush green beauty of Ireland.
Besides lending beauty to Ireland’s countryside, green is significant to its culture and history.
The three-leaf shamrock has been associated with Ireland for centuries. St. Patrick is said to have used it to teach about the Christian trinity. It later became a symbol of the country’s emerging nationalism. Green is one of the Irish flag’s colors, symbolizing the Catholics of Ireland, while orange symbolizes the Protestant portion of the population, and the white stripe is for peace between the two. When many Irish emigrated to America in the 19th century, they wore green to remember their heritage.
But the most intriguing reason to wear green on this day is to avoid being pinched! Legend says that leprechauns will pinch people on St. Patrick’s Day and, since they can’t see the color green, it will camouflage you and spare you pain.
Which gems are green?
Whether you are Irish or just want to bring the beautiful qualities of this color into your life, consider the many exquisite green gems. Click on the pictures for more information on these pieces.
There couldn’t be a more apt birthstone for May than this elegant, verdant stone. Most contain inclusions called “jardin”, French for garden, which actually look like foliage. While inclusions in most gems detract from their value, jardin inclusions can be part of emerald’s charm.
Green tourmaline –
Tourmaline has one of the broadest color ranges of any gem, in various shades of virtually every hue, but green is possibly the most vibrant and beautiful. Sometimes called verdelite, it is found in yellowish to bluish-green to olive.
Demantoid garnet –
One of the rarer garnets, especially in larger sizes, demantoid’s name means “diamond-like”. Its high brilliance and fire, along with its luscious color and ability to take a high polish, make it stunningly beautiful.
Tsavorite garnet –
Another green garnet is the tsavorite, named for Tsavo National Park in Kenya, where it was discovered. Like demantoid, it is relatively rare, and its fresh green color and scintillating brilliance make it unforgettable.
The Egyptians called this the “gem of the sun”. It’s fascinating that some peridots are extraterrestrial, riding to earth in meteorites. Others are 4.5 billion years old, brought to us by volcanic eruptions.
Also known as green quartz, its name means “scallion green colored stone”. Most natural prasiolites are a delicate light green, like the pear-shaped one in this mult-gem pendant.
Another gem that gives its name to a color, jade is actually two gem species, jadeite and nephrite. It comes in many colors, but green is the most popular in western cultures. In addition to being beautiful, it is very tough and durable.
Other gems that come in green include amber, apatite, aventurine, Brazilianite, chalcedony (bloodstone and chrysoprase), chrome diopside, chrysoberyl (alexandrite), diamond, feldspar, fluorite, hiddenite, malachite, sapphire, scapolite, serpentine, sphene, turquoise and zircon (beccarite).
At Argo & Lehne, we are in love with color and specialize in the highest quality, most luscious gems. Come visit us or shop online to find the perfect colored gemstone for you!