Apple Green Chrysoprase
Chrysoprase is one of the rarest and most valuable stone in the chalcedony group. It is an apple-green variety of chalcedony and belongs to the quartz family of gemstones. Chrysoprase contains silica which is an ingredient found in mineral makeup. Chrysoprase obtains its green color from its nickel deposits and the mineral has a hexagonal crystal system. A good quality chrysoprase is evenly and deeply colored while still being translucent.
The gem gets its name from a combination of words (in Greek), chrysos means gold and prase means leek. It was first discovered in Greece in 400 B.C. In ancient Egyptian jewelry, these gems was often set together with lapis lazuli. In the 14th century, chrysoprase was also popular when Charles IV (the Holy Roman Emperor) used it to decorate chapels. Chrysoprase mining has started in Poland during the 14th century. From then on, the mineral discovery has spread to Brazil, Australia, South Africa, Russia and Madagascar.
The gemstone itself is not very expensive and good uniform colored chrysoprase is not hard to find. All colors have their own special meanings. Since chrysoprase gemstone share many similarities with jadeite, it is sometimes mistaken for green imperial jadeite. Traders like to take advantage of this wrong notion and sell chrysoprase as imperial jade or green jade. Chrysoprase may be the color of green jade but it is not jade.
The gem is cut as cabochons to be used in earrings, pendants and rings. Very often a matrix is attached to the finished stone. Necklaces and beads made of this stone are extremely popular. Chrysoprase has a specific gravity of 2.65-2.66 and a refractive index of 1.544-1.553. The hardness of the stone is around 7 and is known for its specific metaphysical characteristics.
Chrysoprase helps to make conscious what was unconscious and helps people to clarify their problems. It has been used as a cure for restlessness and to speed the healing of any wound. It should not be placed on your body, but held over the affected area and also keep it close to your bed at night (or carry it in a pocket) to speed healing.
Chrysoprase is the favorite gemstone of Alexander the Great who always kept the gem in his girdle for victory in the battles he fought. Australia (New South Wales region), India, Brazil, Kazakhstan, Russia (the Urals region), Madagascar, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, South Africa and California has a good deposit of Chrysoprase. The most highly prized stones come from Australia.
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