Chrysoprase Gemstone

Chrysoprase Gemstone

Chrysoprase is of a silicon dioxide chemical composition. Its color can range from light, minty-green to a dark apple-green color. Chrysoprase has a hardness ranging from 6.5 to 7 on the Mohs scale. It occurs in a hexagonal, microcrystalline aggregates. It is typically translucent to opaque. The translucent specimen is more valuable. When cut and polished, Chrysoprase gives off a glass-like to waxy luster.

Chrysoprase is derived from the Greek words, CHRUSOS AND PRASON meaning Gold and Leek, referring to the golden inclusions found in the gemstone and the leek-green color of the gemstone.

Chrysoprase is a form of chalcedony and it is sometimes translucent with colours ranging from light green to deep green due to nickel oxidization. Though darker color is considered more desirable, once it reaches a certain depth, it will no longer be identified as chrysoprase but rather as another variety of Chalcedony known as Prase.

The most sought after Chrysoprase is the iridescent mint-green color, which is very unique due to the fact that the coloring agent is not iron such as found in the green Tourmaline, or chromium as found in emeralds, or vanadium as found in tsavorites, but from nickel impurities. This is so rare because the only other green gem colored by nickel is Gaspeite.

Chrysoprase is one of the rarest varieties of chalcedony quartz, the other one being the rare green-blue gemstone 'chrysocolla chalcedony'.

Chrysoprase is a variety of cryptocrystalline quartz, composed of crystals that are too tiny to be seen even under magnification. It is also unique in the fact that unlike most of chalcedony quartz which occur in multi-colored patterns, Chrysoprase occurs only in rich vivid green color very similar to the finest quality Jade. However, jade has a hardness ranging from 6 to 7 on the Mohs scale (whereas Chrysoprase ranges from 6.5 to 7). Jade is also less translucent than Chrysoprase.

Prehnite, too, looks very similar to Chrysoprase. However, its green color is not as vivid and rich as Chrysoprase.

Variscite is another gemstone that can be confused with Chrysoprase. Nonetheless, Variscite has a waxier luster and its hardness on the Mohs scale ranges from 3.5 to 4.5.

Chrome Chalcedony is yet another green gemstone that is often confused with Chrysoprase. It has a Mohs hardness scale of 6 to 7 and its crystal structure occurs as trigonal or monoclinic. Furthermore, Chrome Chalcedony is colored by chromium whereas Chrysoprase is colored by nickel.

Dyed green Agate is sometimes sold as Chrysoprase. This is just false advertisement. Chrysoprase is not treated and therefore should be bought as 100% natural.

Ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans used this stone to make seals and ornamental jewelries. It was considered the sacred stone of Greek goddess Aphrodite. Alexander the Great had worn a girdle that contained a lucky chrysoprase stone that helped him win battles. He believed that the stone protected him of all evils. Once his Chrysoprase was stolen by a serpent, he started losing battles.

In the early 18th century, Chrysoprase was believed to be a stone for dreaming and that it had hypnotic powers. In times of trouble with the law, they believed that by keeping the stone in the mouth, they would be able to escape punishment or become invisible.

This gemstone was also loved by Queen Ann, King George I, II & III and was the favourite gem of Queen Victoria.

Chrysoprase is a highly spiritual stone. According to the Book of Exodus, it was one of the sacred stones found in Aaron’s breastplate.

Chrysoprase has the power to banish greed, selfishness and folly. It also brings happiness and success in business.

Chrysoprase calms irritation and it rouses one to action and adventure as it stimulates creativity and hope.

The stone is also good for the eyesight. It was believed that by gazing at the stone when the moon was full, it could heal any eye ailments.

Chrysoprase is the birthstone for May and a crystal of Venus. It is a stone of compassion as it activates both the heart and solar plexus chakras and helps to promote emotional balance. Chrysoprase is a great healing tool for working on inner child healing.

Chrysoprase can be carved as ornamental objects, fashioned into cameos, intaglios, seals or insignias, but is usually cut en cabochon and in shapes of ovals, rounds, trillions, hearts and pears. Chrysoprase beads and tumbled stones can also be found. However, these are typically fashioned from lower grade chrysoprase material.

Chrysoprase is suitable for just about any type of jewelry including rings, pendants, necklaces, pins, brooches and or as ornamental gemstones such as cameos, intaglios, etcetera.

Although chrysoprase is one of the rarest and most valuable forms of chalcedony quartz, larger sized stones are still very affordable.

Chrysoprase is one of the harder gemstones because it occurs with no cleavage. Nonetheless, it can be scratched by harder gemstones such as Topaz and Diamond.

The rich green color of Chrysoprase can also fade if exposed to extreme heat or prolonged direct sun light.

You can clean your precious Chrysoprase by using warm, soapy water and a soft cloth. Rinse well to remove any soapy residue.

Chrysoprase is porous and therefore can easily be dyed and or stained by the absorption of chemicals and colors. Therefore, avoid contact with perfume, bleach, sulfuric acid and other household chemicals.

Chrysoprase deposits are found all over the world. The most important ones being found in Australia, India, Germany, Poland, Madagascar, Kazakhstan, Russia, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Tanzania, Brazil and in the United States (Arizona and California). Today, 85% of Chrysoprase comes from Australia. The highest quality Chrysoprase is mined in the Marlborough Creek District of Queensland, Australia.