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J-Lo Made Us Do It- The Guide to Green Diamonds

By Stephanie Dore

There JLo goes again, with her spectacular engagement rings and even more spectacular hair. I mean, what’s the average human to do when faced with the perfection of Jennifer Lopez and her giant green diamond engagement ring? Stop. Stare. And try to land one of our own, obviously. But how exactly does one do such a thing? Here’s everything you need to know about green diamonds before you drop your, well, green.

It’s Not Easy Being Green

Yes, green diamonds are real. I mean, would JLo have a fake, y’all? Come on. In fact, JLo’s isn’t even the biggest one! Or the most famous. Ok, that’s a stretch. The 41-carat Dresden green diamond, a beautifully uniform-color pear cut that’s been around for hundreds of years, is another famed example.

They’re just like colorless diamonds in most ways, except their color is caused when the diamond is exposed to radiation or by more complex defects involving nitrogen, hydrogen, or nickel impurities. The radiation that causes most natural green diamond color usually happens way down inside the Earth, or in the volcanic pipes that bring the stone to the surface. But it can also happen once the diamond has reached the surface, if it’s gettin’ cozy with other radioactive elements. You know, as diamonds do.

J-Lo engagement ring green diamonds
J-Lo’s new rock is a minty green radiant cut, estimated around 8 carats.
Photo courtesy of Page Six
green diamonds color chart gia
Green diamonds are typically faint in color, which is why you’ll need to have millions ready to drop if you’re lucky enough to find a deeply saturated natural green diamond!
Photo courtesy of GIA

Eat (All) Your Greens

Now, fancy green diamonds aren’t just green. Like other colored stones, they come in all sorts of color variations. Deep, dark, light, vivid. Yellowish, brownish, bluish. While this is super cool and gives you a wide range of hues and tones to choose from, it also means that if you find one that you love you should definitely buy it quickly because there will never be another one like it. 

When it comes to determining what color you want, it’s good to know how fancy color works. Here’s a quickie tutorial. First of all, fancy color is graded based on hue, tone, and saturation. Hue being the actual body color (green, pink, blue, etc.) on the color wheel. Tone is how light or dark the color is. And saturation is the strength of the color itself. When you see multiple colors listed on a single stone, that is the “hue” and the color listed last is the main body color, everything else is a secondary color. In the case of green diamonds, examples might be “bluish green” or “yellowish green”. If you see a stone listed as “greenish yellow” (with the colors the other way around) that means that yellow is the main body color, but it has a secondary bit of green.

Clean Greens

Clarity kind of falls to the bottom of the priority list when it comes to fancy colored diamonds of any hue, because what you’re really after is color. Often, color can also help disguise some inclusions. But not all. Remember, a diamond is still a diamond, and the larger your stone, or a step-cut stone shape like emerald cut or Asscher cut, will show off its insides a bit more than others. So don’t go too low in clarity grade if you don’t want to see anything. But again, if you find a color you love, you might just find yourself making some clarity sacrifices, and that’s all gravy too.

radiant cut lab diamond toi et moi fancy yellow diamond ring
Green diamonds are definitely not in everyone’s budget, but if fancy color is a necessity for your engagement ring, expand your search to yellow hues!
emerald and diamond toi et moi ring
For deep green lovers, opt for an emerald!

Chopped Salad

Is cut still important in a fancy green diamond? Yes. Darling, it’s not at the top of the diamond priority list for no reason. Cut — the most important of the 4Cs — determines a diamond’s sparkle, which is no laughing matter. And even if your diamond is green, you still want it to bling bling, no? Yes! A poorly cut green diamond will be a dull, lifeless rock. A green rock. But still a rock. You can make a bit of a sacrifice here, but not too much. Still look for a high cut grade, excellent polish and symmetry to make sure your green diamond really shines!

Green Apples, Bananas, and Pears, Oh My!

Ok, only one of those fruits is actually a diamond shape, but we’d go bananas for a green diamond in just about any shape. And hopefully you would too. Why? Well, the thing about fancy colored diamonds is that they’re not cut based on the popularity of diamond shapes but instead cut to preserve and enhance their color. What that means is you’re going to see a wide variety of fancy shapes and very few round green diamonds.

Fancy shapes with deeper cuts, like radiants, can help deepen the visual appearance of color. At the same time, a shallower oval might help lighten up a darker tone. Shopping for any fancy colored stone, it’s good to keep this in mind rather than getting your heart set on a particular shape or size, as there just won’t be as much availability to come up with your ideal conversation. But if you’re open to other options, you’ll be a much happier shopper and find something in just the right shade and shape for you!

natural emerald bezel engagement ring
Natural emeralds won’t give you the sparkle of a diamond, but the gorgeous inclusions will give you all the natural character.
tourmaline and pear shaped diamond toi et moi engagement ring
For a fun green touch, gemstones like tourmaline are a fun (and cost effective) choice!

The Color of Money

In the world of fancy colored diamonds — which are quite rare to begin with — natural green diamonds are one of the rarest of the rare. And those with more color saturation are, like, super super rare. Hence, their hefty price tags. But if you’re open to other options, we’ve got ‘em! Lab created diamonds, including colored diamonds, can save you significant dollars and, yeah, they’re actually real diamonds. Same optical, chemical, and physical properties and everything.

There are also some stunning green gemstones to consider, including emeralds, green sapphires, green garnets, peridots, and tourmaline. Colored gemstones are typically much more affordable than diamonds, however they do require a bit more care as they’re softer stones that can’t stand up to quite as much wear as diamonds.

Green Diamonds in Your Future?

Try out our style quiz to design your own dream ring, set with a green diamond center or green gemstone accents, or any combination you like! You’ll get a free sketch, then our design experts can help refine it into the perfect custom creation just for you. We’re also happy to help you locate the stone of your heart-eyed-emoji dreams, just email us at with what you’re looking for (and a bit about your budget) and we’ll get to work!

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