When it comes to opalescent color, few gemstone quality stones surpass Chrysoprase. Its minty, apple-green color is unique in that it is caused by nickle impurities that form within the, otherwise, colorless quartz crystal rather than iron, chromium or vanadium like most quartz gems. As a result, it was not uncommon for ancient jewelers to confuse the gem with emeralds. Here are some other interesting facts about this gemstone’s formation, properties and metaphysical attributes that are worth knowing.
General Information About Chrysoprase
Chrysoprase has been around for centuries so the actual discovery of it remains a mystery. The Greeks believed it was magical and would impart good health and a happy married life upon anyone that carried one. They called it “chrysoprase” which meant “golden apple” or “golden leek”. It was also thought to be the stone of Venus and was frequently used not only by the Greeks but the Egyptians and Romans as well to make signets, seals, jewelry and many other ornaments. Roman legend, on the other hand, said that individuals that held one could understand lizards.
It has been documented that chrysoprase was a favorite gem of Alexander the Great. According to legend, he wore a bright Chrysoprase stone in his girdle during battle. After his return from India, where again he was successful in battle, he took it off to bathe in the Euphrates River. While in the water a snake bit the stone off the girdle and dropped it into the water. Alexander never found it and never won another battle after that time.
The largest deposit of Chrysophrase was discovered in a mine in Poland and became extremely popular in Europe during the 1700s. The deposits, however, were soon depleted but rediscovered elsewhere in the world. During the 1920 Art Nouveau period when Tutankhamen’s tomb was discovered, the gemstone was used extensively to reproduce the vast treasures from the pharaoh’s tomb. It remains an elusive gemstone on the market today and is highly coveted by collectors yet remains extremely affordable.
Properties of Chrysoprase
Similar or Related Gemstones and Trade Names: Citron or Lemon Chysoprase, Australian Jade, Chrome Chalcedony, Chalcedony, Agate, Onyx, Carnelian, Bloodstone (Heliotrope) and Jasper.
Varieties: It is a variety of chalcedony quartz that’s a polymorph composed of quartz and moganite.
Hardness: 6.5 – 7.
Color: pale lemon yellow, yellowish green, minty green, apple-green to dark green.
Transparency translucent to opaque.
Luster: vitreous to waxy.
Cleavage: none; fracture – rough and brittle.
Crystal Structure: hexagonal, microcrystalline aggregates.
Deposits of Chrysoprase are found at shallow depths in areas where rocks that contain nickel are weathered. It forms in cavities, veins and fracture fillings usually only a few inches in width and in shorter lengths than other gemstones. As a result, it is mined by the kilogram rather than the ton. It is also rarely found in the jewelry market because the stones tend to be inconsistent in color and size. Additionally, they are rarely found in large quantities.
The color can be unstable with prolonged exposure to sunlight. It is one way new deposits are discovered. If faded specimens are found at the surface, it is a good indication that darker colors will be found below the surface. Heat can also cause the color to fade. As a result, caution must be taken to ensure gemstones are stored away from sunlight and heat. If you have one that has faded, however, be assured that the color will return if the stone is placed in a dark, moist place for a time.
Metaphysical Details About Chrysoprase
Chrysoprase is associated with the Earth element and works directly on the chakra of the heart. Prudence, happiness, prosperity, good fortune and enterprise are traditionally associated with the gem because it helps balance the conscious and unconscious realms of the mind. It suppresses angry outbursts while promoting inner-strength, self-confidence and courage. The gemstone can also enhance joy and happiness while suppressing anxiety, depression and co-dependence.
Chrysoprase is believed that Chrysoprase can aid healing of wounds and illnesses especially if set in silver. It is believed to have the power to strengthen eyesight, heal eye problems and aid in balancing hormones. The gemstone can also promote sleep and resolve symptoms of insomnia while reducing blood pressure and relieving pain that often accompanies rheumatism.
Chrysoprase’s cooling energy brings a sense of calm and soothes emotions that are inflamed while promoting mental clarity and intuition. That allows you to be truly centered. It rids the mind of negative thoughts and strengths friendships by promoting forgiveness while opening your heart to love. It’s color is associated with the heart and encourages feelings of cheerfulness. It is also thought to enhance grace, poise, self-esteem and mental dexterity while reducing feelings of inferiority and pain associated with a broken heart. The heart chakra is the most vulnerable in today’s culture and requires some help in remaining healthy. Fortunately, a Chrysoprase gemstone is designed to do just that.
How to Wear It
Chrysoprase can easily be worn as jewelry but should not touch the skin if attempting to heal a wound. Rather it should be suspended over the injury for a time. If keeping it on a night table while sleeping, in a desk drawer while at work or as a raw piece in a pocket it will work as well but much more slowly. Actually, it will improve positive energy and add brightness to any space where it is placed. If you want to share the stone’s power with others, you should wear it in such a way that it will be clearly visible and will allow others to come into close proximity to it. Non-wearers will be drawn to the gemstone and can become subconsciously affected by the positive vibrations it emits.
Where Can We Find Chrysoprase Today?
Deposits of Chrysoprase can be found throughout the world including in sites such as Australia where the largest deposits are found today, Brazil, Germany, Poland, Russia, South Africa, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Madagascar, India, Kazakhstand and the US. Chrysoprase that’s mined in Central Queensland in Australia generates the highest quality gemstones which frequently contain a color and translucency that resembles fine jade.
Chrysoprase is a silicate but is distinctive in that the nickle it contains gives it a distinctive green color. The gem is a cryptocrystalline which means that its crystals can’t be seen with the naked eye since they are so fine. Metaphysically, it has been used for centuries as adornments and healing stones. It is associated with the heart chakra. In that respect, it holds the intuition of the Mother and the sacred spark of the divine so keeping it healthy is important.
What do you think about healing gemstones like Chrysoprase? Do you have a favorite? Let our readers know what you think by leaving your comments below.