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 Chrysoprase

 

Gemstone :
Chrysoprase

Birthstone Month :
Chrysoprase is not associated with any particular birthstone month.

Zodiac :
Chrysoprase is associated with the zodiac sign of Gemini.

Chemical Symbol :
SiO2

Chemical Make-up :
Chrysoprase is a Silicon Dioxide, and a green variety of Chalcedony. Its green coloration is due to the presence of nickel impurities in the form of oxides or silicates.

History & Lore :
The name Chalcedony is widely believed to be a direct reference to an ancient Greek settlement in Asia minor.  Whilst this settlement was known as Chalkedon, modern English usually presents this as being spelled Chalcedon, hence the forming of the name Chalcedony for this gemstone variety.

Chalcedony has been in use almost as long as the earth has been inhabited and some of the earliest primitive tools created by man's ancestors some 2.5 million years ago were made of various types of Chalcedony.  Owing to the huge number of varieties available, Chalcedony soon graduated from being used just for tools, and eventually became a popular material for decorative purposes and jewelry adornments.

Chalcedonies are believed to have been considered sacred stones by Native American Indians and they were often used for ceremonial purposes, particularly for promoting stability within the tribes.

Chalcedonies are believed to promote charity, improve relationships and enhance the wearers ability to offer kindness to others, as well as irradicating feelings of hostility, negativity and irritability. Chalcedonies are also credited with having the ability to promote emotional balance and to improve the wearers vitality and stamina.

 

Availability :
Chrysoprase is the rarest and arguably the most valued of the Chalcedony varieties. Expect to pay high premiums for Chrysoprase, particularly for gemstones of large size that exhibit the most sought-after rich apple green color.

Sources :
Australia is today's most significant source of Chrysoprase. Not only is Chrysoprase originating in Queensland the most sought-after, it is also estimated that Queensland, Australia supplies 85% of the world's Chrysoprase. Other notable deposits are found in Austria, Brazil, Germany, Poland, Russia (Ural Mountains), Tanzania, and the United States.

Evaluation :
Chrysoprase is rated at 7 on the Moh's Scale of Hardness, making it suitable for most jewelry applications.
Ranging from nearly opaque to nearly translucent, Chrysoprase exhibits a color spectrum of green shades.
The most common and sought-after is the apple-green color, with greenish yellow and olive colored stones being available but not as valued.

Unlike the majority of non-transparent members of the Quartz family that are known and revered mostly for their intricate patterns, Chrysoprase is almost exclusively desired for its color. Its comparative scarcity and pleasing green coloration make Chrysoprase one of the most prized varieties of Quartz available.

Common Cuts :
Chrysoprase is most commonly found cut into cabochons and beads. In addition to this, it is also used for intaglios and cameos.

Routine Enhancements :
There are no known enhancements for Chrysoprase.

Care & Cleaning :
Chrysoprase gemstones are generally best cleaned using warm soapy water and a soft brush. As with most
gemstones, Chrysoprase should be kept away from household chemicals and from prolonged exposure to
extremes of heat as this can cause damage or permanent changes in coloration. You should always store your Chrysoprase jewelry in a fabric-lined box away from other jewelry items in order to avoid damage / scratching.

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