Chrysoprase consists mostly of silicon dioxide and is a variety of chalcedony, in fact, the rarest and perhaps the most expensive form. It is a lovely green stone which varies from a pale green through to a saleable apple green and on to a darker, richer green.
Like any gemstone it is found with poor colour, fractures, flaws, inclusions but the top quality that we see as gemstone jewellery will be an even apple green or deeper green without flaws of any kind.
Other green stones such as emerald contain and get their green colour from chromium but unusually Chrysoprase derives its colour from traces of nickel. For rock enthusiasts it is interesting to note that this stone is a form of fibrous quartz and is cryptocrystalline which means that its crystals are so fine that they cannot be seen with normal magnification as distinct particles. Other rock crustal types such as amethyst are transparent where this gem is normally translucent.
Chrysoprase can be used for the birthstone as the month of May and is Gemini’ birthstone. Some say Libra.
Its metaphysical properties are said to be: compassion, grace and acceptance.
It is said to increase energies, increase fertility and is generally accepted to be a soothing stone. I believe that and you only have to see a picture of a good quality piece of apple green Chrysoprase to understand why I do.
In the middle ages it was thought that if you placed a piece of Chrysoprase in your mouth then you would become invisible. It was supposed to lose its colour in the presence of poison and that you could use it to understand what lizards were saying.
I am not sure how interested I might be in eavesdropping on lizard banter but once thing I am sure about is that this is one of my favourite gems and it make wonderful jewellery.