Monday, March 4, 2013

Got Green?

They call it “A color of elegance and beauty that enhances our sense of well-being, balance and harmony."  It is Green,   the color of growth, the color of spring, the color of renewal and rebirth. An emotionally positive color, it renews and restores depleted energy, so it comes as no surprise that Pantone chose Emerald Green to be this year’s color.

The word green comes from the Old English word green
which like the German word grĂ¼n has the same root as the words grass and grow.

Green had a positive connotation throughout history. In ancient Egypt it was the symbol of regeneration and rebirth. The hieroglyph for green represented a growing papyrus sprout, showing the close connection between green, vegetation, vigor and growth. In wall paintings, the ruler of the underworld, Osiris, was typically portrayed with a green face, because green was the symbol of good health and rebirth. Green also symbolized the sea, which was called the "Very Green”.

Kambaba Jasper Earrings

For painting on the walls of tombs or on papyrus, Egyptian artists used finely-ground malachite, mined in the west Sinai and the eastern desert.  A paint box with malachite pigment was found inside the tomb of tomb of Tutankhamen. Also, palettes of green facial makeup made from ground malachite were found in tombs. The makeup was worn particularly around the eyes as protection against evil.

In Ancient Greece, green and blue were sometimes considered the same color, and the same word sometimes described the color of the sea and the color of trees. The philosopher Democritus described two different greens: cloron (pale green) and prasinon (leek green).  Aristotle considered that green was located midway between black, symbolizing the earth, and white, symbolizing water. However, green was not counted among of the four classic colors of Greek painting (red, yellow, black, white), and it is rarely found in Greek art.
Prehnite and Tibetan Silver Necklace

The Romans had a greater appreciation for the color green; it was the color of Venus, the goddess of gardens, vegetables and vineyards. The Romans made a fine green earth pigment, which was widely used in the wall paintings of Pompeii, Herculaneum, Lyon, Vaison-la-Romaine, and other Roman cities. They also used the pigment verdigris, made by soaking copper plates in fermenting wine. By the Second Century AD, the Romans were using green in paintings, mosaics and glass, and there were ten different words in Latin for varieties of green. 

Carved Brass Earrings Antiqued with African Bronze Patina

When it comes to gemstones, Pliny is credited with his attempts to classify gems according to color and observable external characteristics. This led to the practice of assigning the attributes of one stone to all stones of similar color or appearance. The green stones named smaragdus in Latin are prime examples. Pliny classified most green stones as varieties of emerald. In all, twelve varieties are listed; green sapphire, turquoise, smithsonite, malachite, jasper, and even glass are identifiable by his descriptions.

In our times, when you think of green gemstones, a few gemstones that are well known come to mind, like Emerald, Peridot, or Green Garnet (Tsavorite Garnet). There are many more green gemstones that are not as well known but just as beautiful and sometimes just as valuable as their better-known counterparts, among them Green Chalcedony, Malachite, Green Jade, Kambaba Jasper, Prehnite, Tree Agate and Green Jasper.

The color green is the sanctuary away from the stresses of modern living, restoring us back to a sense of well-being. This is why there is so much of this relaxing color on the earth, and this is why we need to keep it that way

(Information obtained through and Thank you!)
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