Name: Chrysoprase
Color(s): Pale lemon yellow to pale green
Mineral Information: Silicate, chalcedony, microcrystalline quartz group
Chemical Make-up: SiO2
Hardness: 6.5 – 7
Where they are found: Australia, Germany, Tanzania, Poland, Russia, and Brazil. In the United States it is found in Arizona and California.
About Stone: Called the stone of Venus, chrysoprase is the rarest and most valuable rich apple-green gemstone in the chalcedony family and was often mistaken for emeralds by ancient jewelers. Unlike emeralds, which owe their color to the presence of chromium, the bright spring green of chrysoprase is a result of trace amounts of nickel.
Chrysoprase was used by the Greeks, Roman and Egyptians to make seals, signets, jewelry and other ornamental objects because of its vivid color. The modern word comes from the literal Greek translation chrusos meaning golden and prason, meaning leek, indicating the golden-leek green color of the stone.
Alexander III, an ancient Greek king of Macedonia, was on of the most successful, undefeated military commanders in Greek history. A strange story regarding a chrysoprase stone reputed to have been worn by Alexander is related by a Dominican friar named Albertus Magnus.
According to Magnus, Alexander always wore a girdle into battle that was embedded with a bright chrysoprase stone. On his return from a successful campaign in India, he laid aside his girdle to bathe in the Euphrates River. While the girdle lay unattended, a serpent came and bit off the stone and dropped it into the water. Alexander III didn’t win another campaign after loosing this precious talisman.
After the discovery of the tomb of Tutankhamen in the early 1920s, the well-known Art Nouveau period, which celebrated exotic sensuality and romanticism, came to life in prolific glory. Chrysoprase was used extensively during this Nouveau era with Egyptian revival jewelry that mimicked the vast treasures of the newly discovered pharaoh’s tomb.
Zodiac Association: Libra
Metaphysical Properties: A stone to attract new love, abundance and prosperity. It facilitates self-expression, courage, hope, and the ability to use them wisely. Balances & equalizes yin/yang energies and allows deep meditation. Chrysoprase is related primarily to the heart chakra, which it activates, opens and energizes.