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Encyclopaedia of stones

Chrysoprase

The name of chrysoprase comes from the ancient Greek krisos which means "golden", for its brilliance and prason meaning "leek", for its green color. Chrysoprase can be cut often in cabochons. The purest gems are comparable to jade, with which it is sometimes confused. This gem is one of the oldest known, it would have been worn by, among others, Alexander the Great and Frederick II of Prussia.
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Colors
Green

Family
Quartz

Origin

USA, Russia, Brazil, Australia, Poland, Tanzania

Virtues

Chrysoprase is the protective stone per excellence. It is said to be a calming stone, which helps those who wear it work through their problems without the distractions of everyday life. It is said to strengthen self-confidence and help get rid of complexes, as well as reducing stress and bringing serenity by calming the nerves.

Specifications

Chrysoprase is by far the most prized variation of chalcedony. It varies in colour from apple green to a greenish-yellow, and owes its extraordinary colour to its nickel content. Chrysoprase is cryptocrystalline, which means it is composed of crystals so fine that they cannot be seen as distinct particles under normal magnification. It is a very durable stone and so lends itself well to everyday jewellery.

History

Chrysoprase has a long history and is mentioned in the Bible as being one of the twelve gemstones set in the foundations of the city walls of Jerusalem.
The gemstone is often cut as cabochons, but can also be faceted. It has for long been a very popular choice for intaglios and cameos, for instance in Greek, Roman and Egyptian jewellery. Chrysoprase was incredibly popular in the Victorian era, when the stones often were cut as beautiful low cabochons with a narrow rim of facets around the edge.
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