Chalcedony is more than the translucent pale blue to grey gemstone we know. The name also refers to a family of cryptocrystalline quartz gemstones. The members include Bloodstone, Carnelian, Agate, Onyx, Plasma, Sard, and Chrysoprase, a luscious green chalcedony with unique charm and beauty. The gorgeous color can sell itself. It has a calming effect on the spirit. Just contemplate its translucent hue, and you’ll find yourself breathing a little easier.
About that name . . .
“Chrysoprase” doesn’t exactly slip off the tongue. It has Greek and Latin origins. “Prase” refers to green, with some translations specifying “emerald” as the color. (The color could be compared to certain shades of emerald yet Chrysoprase’s translucence clouds the issue — I can’t resist the pun!) So what does “chryso” mean? It is Greek for “gold” or Latin for “golden.” So Chrysoprase means “golden green?” That’s a bit puzzling until you consider how gorgeous it looks in yellow gold. Then it’s easy to understand.
We’ve heard of “cryptic questions” and “cryptic comments.” The word “cryptic” refers to something that has an alternate or “coded” interpretation — something mysterious or ambiguous. So what does it mean that Chrysoprase is cryptocrystalline quartz? The answer is simple. When viewed through an optical microscope, Chrysoprase’s tiny crystal structure doesn’t resolve into a clear image. In other words, its structure is somewhat mysterious and ambiguous.
In rare form
Though moderately priced, Chrysoprase is the rarest of the Chalcedony stones. Those factors combined with its undeniable beauty account for its sustained popularity throughout the years.
Most green gems get their color from exotic minerals. Chromium and vanadium give emeralds and Tsavorite Garnets their ravishing hue. Green tourmaline and Alexandrite rely on chromium. Malachite’s green comes from copper of all things. So what gives Chrysoprase its heavenly shade? Ordinary nickel gives it that green and the amount of this humble mineral determines the depth of color.
Chrysoprase has several unusual relatives. These stones are called “pseudomorphs” meaning that a previous organic or inorganic substance is replaced by a mineral, in these cases, Chalcedony.
The frightened forest and other Identity crises
Petrified (or fossilized) wood is our first example. Over thousands of years, silica invaded the cavities and cells of this ancient wood and chemically transformed it into Chalcedony. That’s quite a trick. To see this on a large scale, visit the Petrified Forest National Monument in Arizona to view the pseudomorph logs. Our next identity crisis is Tampa Bay Coral. Chalcedony has chemically replaced it. The stone preserves the living coral’s original form, but that’s the only part of it that is organic. Tiger’s Eye offers another example. It began as the fibrous mineral called crocidolite and gradually changed to chalcedony. Its unique optical properties come from the fibrous quality of its original mineral.
Chrysoprase comes from sources both near and far. They include Germany, Poland, Madagascar, Zimbabwe, India, Kazakhstan, Russia, India, California, South Africa, Brazil, and Western Australia — the source of the highest quality on the market. The first major source of Chrysoprase was discovered in Szklary, Poland. Some say it was discovered in the Middle Ages and depleted by the late 14th century, while others say discovery occurred during the 18th century, paralleling the appearance of Chrysoprase jewelry. Who’s right? I couldn’t find a definitive answer.
Say “Yes” to Chrysoprase jewelry
Even if it wasn’t irresistibly beautiful, Chrysoprase has powers that make it valuable to wear. You could say it has essential powers and we should all wear it. Chrysoprase —
- Helps to heal wounds.
- Strengthens eyesight and heal eye diseases.
- Balances hormones.
- Improves sleep quality.
- Relieves anxiety and depression.
- Promotes love, compassion, and joy.
- Builds self-confidence.
- Attracts prosperity and abundance.
- Enhances creativity and intuition.
- Mends broken hearts.
- Promotes mental clarity.
It may be hard to believe, but I’ve shortened the list. Chrysoprase has many additional powers. It’s enough for customers to know that this mesmerizing gemstone beauty offers the physical and emotional support many of us need at some point in our lives. And now we have a simple solution: buy Chrysoprase jewelry.