Natural Chrysoprase varies from the bright, lighter and translucent apple-green gemstones, to yellow-green, deep green, and blue-green. The name “Chrysoprase” means Golden Apple in Greek. Chrysus for gold or yellow, and Prasinose meaning green. In top quality Chrysoprase, the nickel inclusions are not visible to the eye. However, light and darker green Chrysoprase with dendritic inclusions are often preferred because of the unique, artistic, and interesting look that is highly prized by serious collectors and jewelry designers. Miriam likes Australian “Boulder” Chrysoprase, which is valued for its distinct rocky brown features and its rarity. Darker green varieties of chrysoprase are also referred to simply as “Prase.” The green color comes from the very small inclusions of a specific nickel compound, the talc mineral willemseite. Australia produces nearly 85% of the world's supply. Chrysoprase mined from Central Queensland (Australia) is considered to be some of the world's highest quality. Chrysoprase deposits is also found in Brazil, Germany, Poland, Russia, South Africa, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Madagascar, India, Kazakhstan and the United States (Arizona, Oregon and California). Previously, the mines of Frankenstein (Zabkowice) in Upper Silesia, Poland were the most abundant sources for gem quality Chrysoprase. Metaphysical essence: Happiness, enterprise and prudence, good fortune and prosperity. Some think that Chrysoprase also instills poise, grace, self-expression and courage.
Fun facts about Chrysoprase:
Fun facts about Chrysoprase:
- In ancient times Chrysoprase was 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. It was also a favorite stone of Alexander the Great, who attributed his success in battles to the Chrysoprase beaded girdle he wore.
- Ancient jewelers often confuse Chrysoprase with Emerald, whose green color comes from Chromium.Chrysoprase is also sometimes referred to as “Australian Jade.”Although jade is much softer and typically less translucent than chrysoprase. Prehnite has a similar color, but is typically as vivid or intense as chrysoprase. Variscite is also sometimes confused with Chrysoprase, but Variscite’s luster is more waxy and it's significantly softer than chrysoprase. In fact, the only other green gem colored by nickel is Gaspeite. All other green gems are colored by iron, chromium or vanadium.
- Australian “Boulder” Chrysoprase.
- Deep Green “Prase,” which can be translucent to opaque, has dendritic inclusions.
- Lemon or Citron Chrysoprase is not a true Chrysoprase. It is Nickeleon Magnesite—a Yellow-Green nickel-rich variety of Magnesite that forms in the core of natural Green Chrysoprase masses. The yellow-green (chartreuse) coloration is also natural, and is better named "Lemon Magnesite" or "Citron Magnesite." Still, it is commonly called Citron or Lemon Chrysoprase. Tumbled and polished, it has a beautiful satin-like soft gleam that is smooth and mellow to the touch. In Western Australia most magnesite is white, however in certain locations the presence of nickel mineralization is responsible for the lovely green color found in Citron Chrysoprase. It occurs in many of the same locations as that of Chrysoprase, most notably Yerilla, Marshall Pool and Goongarrie as well numerous other places.