Cheryl Gansecki, a geologist at the University of Hawaii at Hilo, says the green gems seen in the photos circulating online do not separate from the lava themselves and had likely come out during past eruptions.
"There is not olivine raining from the sky, except in clumps of lava. If you happen to be where tephra is falling from the sky, there is tiny olivines embedded in it, but you probably aren't going to see them," she said on June 15.
Earlier, US meteorologist Erin Jordan shared a photo sent to her by a friend from Hawaii, showing tiny green gems found on the ground after the eruption.
Friends of mine live in Hawaii, right next to the area impacted by the most recent lava flows. In the midst of the destruction nearby & stress of the unknown, they woke up to this — tiny pieces of olivine all over the ground. It is literally raining gems. Nature is truly amazing. pic.twitter.com/inJWxOp66t— Erin Jordan (@ErinJordan_WX) June 11, 2018
The gems are also known as olivine crystals, which are quite commonly found in Hawaiian lava rock.
Kilauea, one of the most active volcanoes in the world, is located on the Big Island of Hawaii. The latest eruption began in early May and has since destroyed as many as 600 homes on the island, marking one of the most dramatic volcanic eruptions in modern times.