The Chrysoprase gemstone is a stunning variety of gemstone-quality chalcedony, created from the minute crystalline structure of silica. With hexagonal fine micro crystals, Chrysoprase belongs to the quartz group of minerals.
The sensational colour composition of Chrysoprase and its innate hardness have made this mineral a popular choice for spectacular jewellery and carvings. Exceptional Chrysoprase pieces are crafted into faceted gemstones. Extremely fine textured and densely saturated Chrysoprase specimens have been mistaken as the similarly attractive “Imperial Jade”.
The spectrum of shades in a Chrysoprase varies from lighter to darker hues of green, including unclouded tones of olive green to soothing accents of apple green. Medium light to dark tones can also be witnessed along exquisitely gleaming pigmentation of pure greens.
This atypical nomenclature of ‘Chrysoprase’ originates from the Greek terms “chrysos” signifying “golden” in addition with “prase” meaning “leek”, referring to the gemstone’s green colour. Chrysoprase is rare illustration of a green gemstone which derives its striking green hue from nickel. The minute pimelite inclusions imparts this green colour.
“Quartz Var. Chrysoprase,” Marlborough, Rockhampton Region, Queensland, Australia. © Rob Lavinsky, www.iRocks.com.
Though green chalcedony can also be the resultant presence of chromium, this variety of chrome chalcedony is, in fact, a distinctly different gemstone from Chrysoprase. The term “prase” is also concurrently referred to describe green chalcedonies tinged with chlorite inclusions having a European origin. It’s useful to note that chalcedony may be dyed green to simulate Chrysoprase.
Chrysoprase deposits were first discovered in Poland during as early as the 1700s. However, Australia has emerged as one of the biggest producers of Chrysoprase. Owing to its rarity and limited supply, this quartz does not experience wide and mass use.
Chrysoprase has lustrous waxy patina and its transparency ranges from nearly opaque, translucent, to virtually transparent. This distinguishing green tint along with fitting glass-like lustre, led to this stone’s appeal among connoisseurs and retail jewellery buyers alike.
The rejuvenating and intense colour qualities of Chrysoprase has led to its popularity as a powerful crystal said to attract abundance and love. Chrysoprase, with its metaphysical healing properties, is said to vibrate with positivity, promote happiness and negate depressive and anxious energies.
Finding out the best Chrysoprase is critical as artificial colour simulation or chemical enhancements are common. Occasionally, imitations are found where regular chalcedonies have been painted green to reproduce Chrysoprase. Buyers often raise a common concern of discolouration or fading of Chrysoprase jewellery. It has been noted by gemologists and experts that colour fading can only be observed in artificially dyed Chrysoprase.
When it comes to Chrysoprase, outstanding examples display a vibrant primary hue of apple green without any presence of undesirable yellow tints. Finest Chrysoprases exhibit slightly blue complexion with some pieces displaying a luscious bluish green colour. Too light a shade appears completely washed-out whereas darker accents fail to achieve ideal colour saturation. Hence, an optimum medium colouration is considered ideal in a Chrysoprase. Quality Chrysoprase exhibits excellent clarity wherein inclusions remain invisible to naked eye.
A premium quality Chrysoprase of finest colour and clarity can start from a modest US$80 and go much higher depending on its carat weight and quality characteristics.
If you are in love with the idea of a stunning coloured gemstone, check out our collection of Coloured Gemstones
If you are interested in buying bespoke jewellery online, call us at +65 6733 4100 to discuss your options. We are able to work with you remotely to create your dream piece of fine jewellery.