Chrysoprase is a green colored gemstone variety of chalcedony
. While emeralds
get their green color from the presence of chromium
, the bright, spring green color of chrysoprase is a result of the presence of nickel. The amount of nickel present causes a beautiful variety of colors, ranging from a pale yellow to a light to dark green. Pieces of this stone are often very beautiful as the nickel inclusions create lovely patterns in the stone. Chrysoprase is the most valuable gemstone in the chalcedony family and used to be mistaken for emeralds by ancient jewelers. These days, the green apple colored variety of chrysoprase is the color most commonly found. Chrysoprase is cryptocrystalline, which means it is composed of crystals so fine, they are not able to be seen by the naked eye, unlike amethyst
and other kinds of crystalline quartz
. Agate, carnelian
are other examples of the cryptocrystalline family. Chrysoprase has a hardness of 6–7 on the Moh's hardness scale
. It is on the list of birthstones
by month as both a May and June birthstone
The word chrysoprase comes from the Greek “chrys,” meaning 'gold or yellow' and “prase,” meaning 'green'. Chrysoprase used to be referred to as “the stone of Venus,” and was often used by the Greeks, Romans and Egyptians to make seals, signets, jewelry and other ornamental objects because of its beautiful, vivid green color. It is said to have been the favorite gemstone of Alexander the Great.
Chrysoprase can be found in Germany, Madagascar, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, India
, Kazakhstan, South Africa, Poland, California, Brazil
, Western Australia
, and the USA in Arizona, California, and Oregon. The most amount of chrysoprase ever found in the world was found in a mine in Szklary, Poland. This mine was completely depleted in the 14th century. The highest quality chrysoprase is found in Queensland, Australia, which is why it is also referred to as Australian ''jade
It has been said that Chrysoprase is used to speed the healing of any wound if held over the affected area. It has also been said that keeping a Chrysoprase close to your bed at night speeds healing. Chrysoprase also has the power to heal eye problems, strengthen eyesight, and aid in hormonal balancing. It can also help people who have trouble sleeping by putting the stone under your pillow. In general, chrysoprase is said to be a gemstone that helps one recuperate from all illnesses.
Emotionally, chrysoprase has been known to promote love, forgiveness, compassion, joy and happiness, self-confidence, and brings one far away from feelings of anxiety, depression, and co-dependence. Chrysoprase attracts prosperity, abundance, mental clarity, love and enhances your intuition, allowing one to be truly centered. The crystal will also help one make use of gifts and talents they possess, but may have forgotten about. This in turn promotes creativity and attracts success in new ventures. It is also said that chrysoprase has the ability to attract new love as it helps in mending a broken heart by aiding the wearer with his or her new self-esteem. Chrysoprase is also said to bring a general emotional balance.
Chrysoprase can be cleaned using warm soapy water and a soft cloth. It should always be kept away from harsh household chemicals and prolonged exposure to direct sunlight. Faded color may sometimes be remedied through dark, moist storage.