Mohs scale hardness: 6-7
Chrysoprase or also spelled as chrysophrase is one of the most valuable gems member of chalcedony (a cryptocrystalline form of silica). It is composed of crystals so fine that when using normal magnification, they can not be seen as distinct particles. This sets it apart from rock crystal, citrine, amethyst and other varieties of crystalline quartz which are basically transparennt and formed from easily recognised six-sided crystals. Chrysoprase is a warm stone composed mostly of silicon dioxide. Its microscopic fine quartz fibers have a radial structure and it belongs to the hexagonal crystal system.
The stone of chrysoprase occurs in serpentine rocks and in weathered materialls of nickel ore deposits as nodules or fillings of clefts. Large broken pieces are very often full of fissures with irregular colors. The stone’s colour is usually apple-green but there is also deep green. If the green colour of emerald is due to the presence of chromium inside, these chrysoprase gemstones are due to the nickel content (about 1 to 3%).
Beads of chrysoprase tend to loose its colour and fade in sunlight but they will normally restore it when stored in a moist places. Fading happens because dehydration robs stones of their coloring agent, pimelite a silicate. Pimellite has a layered structure that readily traps or loses moisture. They lose translucency and luster as the stones dry out. To restore these attributes, wear your chrysoprase jewelry when taking a bath or leave the stones in wet cotton.
How Chrysoprase is Formed
Chrysoprase is formed through a secondary process of the oxidation of salicylic acid sollutions and nickel deposits. Opal, a mineral which looks identical to chrysoprase is formed during the initial process. The dissolving nickel out of the surrounding rocks by the solution gives tthe mineral its dark green color and water deposits in the cristal lattice. Chrysoprase is formed once the water is lost from the lattice, and the characteristic green color turns pale.
Chrysoprase Color and Australian Jade
The best quality material is a rich ‘apple’ green, homogenous, translucent chalcedony which is often used as a simulant for rare and highly prized Imperial Jade. With many similarities with jadeite, chrysoprase is often marketed as “Australian Imperial Jade”. Besides chrysoprase, jades are imitated by a number of other minerals including aventurine and serpentine. Imitations of chrysoprase are also oftenly made by staining the agate. Chrysoprase can vary in color from grass green, apple green to yellowish green depending on the levels of hydrated silicates and nickel oxides that present in the gem. Other types of green chalcedony include prase, which is a very rare less vivid green of chalcedony.
Chrysoprase is said to be a “Victory Stone”, the name of the gem has been derived from a Greek word “chrysos prason” means gold leek. It was apparently applied to some yellowish green gems which includes beryl, but it gradually became limited to the apple-green colored chalcedony: chrysoprase. Chrysoprase is not considered as an anniversary gemstone but this Alexander the Great’s favourite gemstone is often used for cabochons, beads and cameos.
The best quality of chrysoprase comes from Queensland, Australia. Other places includes Brazil, Austria, Czechoslovakia, United States and Russia. Before Australia became the dominant source of chrysoprase, the scarcity of the gem was compensated by staining colorless quartz green, using either chromium salts or nickel salts (both greening agents).
It is believed chrysoprase have special properties:
• To increase compassion and vertility.
• To soothe loneliness and heartache.
• To maintain emotional balance, self-confidence and reduce sadness.
• Brings prosperity and good fortune when worn or held.
• It is an aid to sound sleep and deep rest.
• Healing eye problems and certain immune system.
• If placed at your window or bedroom doors, it protects your spirit during your sleep.
• If placed under your matress or in your pillowcase, it helps to keep your body and mind still while you sleep.
Astrologically, chrysoprase is associated with the zodiac signs of Gemini.
How to Sell Gemstones
With NO experience and NO start-up capital