History and General Information on Natural Green Chrysoprase Gemstone
The Chrysoprase gemstone is one of the most expensive semi-precious stones having a beautiful apple green colour, which makes people confuse it with the jade. It belongs to the quartz family of gemstones, but as one of its rare varieties. The bright translucent green colour of the stone endears it to gem lovers and jewelers alike. Because of its hardness it is also used in creating sculptures. The stone gets its name from a combination of two Greek words, chyros meaning gold and prase meaning leek. It is also known as the Australian jade.
This stone has some very interesting stories attached to it. According to a story, a person who was to be punished to death by hanging or beheading could escape his fate by placing this stone in his mouth. This stone has been known to man from the time of the ancient Greeks and Romans and they used it both as an adornment and for its healing qualities. Alexander the Great was one of the greatest admirers of the stone and according to legend, he always kept a Chrysoprase in his girdle for victory in the many battles he fought.
Chemical Composition of Chrysoprase Gemstone
The Chrysoprase is cryptocrystalline quartz and its formula is SIO2.
Physical Properties of Chrysoprase Gemstone
It is a variety of chalcedony and has a good hardness, measuring 7 on the Moh’s scale. It has a refractive index of 1.544-1.553 and a specific gravity of 2.65-2.66. It belongs to the hexagonal crystal system.
Color of Chrysoprase
This gemstone comes in an attractive apple-green colour while stones with a deeper green color too are available. The color in this quartz comes from the nickel present in it. But the color is susceptible to sunlight and heat and over-exposure to sun has been known to lighten the color.
The stone is cut as cabochons to be used in rings, pendants and earrings. Very often a matrix is attached to the finished stone. Beads are also very popular in this stone and necklaces made of this stone are extremely popular.
The stone can be accessed in various sizes, depending upon the budget of the buyer. Pieces ranging from one carat to those over 10 carats are also available.
The stone shows a dull or waxy luster with a white streak. It has traces of nickel impurities.
Price of Chrysoprase Gemstone
Being a colored stone, the price of a Chrysoprase depends upon the vivacity of the green colour. It is the most valuable gemstone of the chalcedony group of stones. The most highly prized stones come from Australia, although pieces can be brought for as little as three dollars per carat.
The Chrysoprase is found mainly in Queen land and Western Australia in the Australian continent while the other producers are Germany, Poland, Russia, Arizona, California and Brazil.
The Chrysoprase is often mistaken for the jade gemstone and unscrupulous dealers have been known to dye chalcedony a green shade and pass it off as Chrysoprase.
Interesting Trivia and Other Facts of Chrysoprase Gemstone
Chrysoprase is a stone of healing and it is used by healing therapists to speed the healing of wounds. The stone is held over the affected area to bring about speedy relief. For people who have a wound but can move about, the stone is kept in the pocket to aid the healing process. It is used to protect the individual from negative energy.
Chrysoprase is cryptocrystalline quartz. This refers to the extremely small size of its crystals, which are so fine that under normal magnifiers they do not appear as separately distinct particles. Other examples of this kind of crystals are the carnelian and agate. People who are looking for ways to express themselves as also to gain the capability of using their intellect prudently benefit from wearing natural Chrysoprase gemstone.
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