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What is Chrysoprase?

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11 Interesting Facts About Chrysoprase

1. Chrysoprase is a green mineral whose colour comes from impurities of nickel.

2. Chrysoprase is a chalcedony which is a type of quartz.  Its crystals are so small they can only be seen when magnified.

3. Not all green chalcedony is chrysoprase.  For green chalcedony to be classed as chrysoprase its colour must be caused by nickel. 

4. Although stones with a rich apple green colour are the most highly sought-after, chrysoprase occurs in several shades of green.

5. Artefacts from a settlement dating back 7,000 years in what is now Pakistan were found to contain chrysoprase. It's not known where the material was mined.

6. The word 'chrysoprase' comes from the Greek 'khrysos' meaning 'gold' and either 'prasinos' meaning 'greenish' or 'prason' which means 'leek'.

7. Many buildings in Prague are decorated with chrysoprase, the most famous of which is the Chapel of St. Wenceslas.

8. Chrysoprase was used in ancient Egypt to make scarabs.  The scarab, which was a beetle, was used as an amulet because it represented the sun god Re.

9. When used for its healing properties, chrysoprase is said to be a stone of harmony and alignment. 

10. Prolonged exposure to sunlight and heat can cause the colour of chrysoprase to fade.

11. Although the colour of citron chrysoprase from Australia is caused by impurities of nickel, it's nickeloan magnesite which is a different mineral to chrysoprase.  It's also known as lemon chrysoprase.
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