Chrysoprase is a green stone that is a form of chalcedony, containing small quantities of nickel. It is known as a cryptocrystalline mineral, because the crystals that compose the stone are so fine that they cannot be seen under normal magnification. Other cryptocrystalline stones include Onyx, Agate, and Carnelian.
The green color of chrysoprase is similar to the green of emeralds, but in emeralds the green comes from the inclusion of chromium, rather than the nickel of chrysoprase.
The stone has a Mohs hardness of 6 to 7. It is sometimes translucent, so that light shines through it.
The Greeks, Romans, and Egyptians used the stone to make seals and ornamental jewelry as far back as 400 BC . It is said that Alexander the Great had a girdle that contained a lucky chrysoprase stone that helped him win battles. One time he was bathing in the Euphrates River when snake bit off the chrysoprase stone and dropped it in the river. After that, Alexander didn't win any more battles.
Because of its sensuous color of green, chrysoprase was often used in Art Nouveau jewelry. Now it can be used as a cabochon in jewelry settings. You are
In historical times the stone was mined only in Poland, but more recently new sources have turned up in Australia, Germany, Russia, Arizona, and California.
Chrysoprase is one of the birthstones for the month of May.
From a metaphysical standpoint, chrysoprase is said to activate both the heart and solar plexus chakras, helping to promote emotional balance. It is also said to help increase the chances of financial success.
We have a number of chrysoprase cabochons on our Heart of Stone Studio website, www.heartofstonestudio.com.