HISTORY, ROMANCE & LORE
Chrysoprase is the most valued gemstone of the chalcedony family. Bright green in color and translucent in clarity, this stone was a favorite of Prussia’s Frederick the Great.
Unlike most green gemstones, which owe their color to chromium or vanadium, chrysoprase derives its color from nickel. Its bright, even coloring and hardness make it an excellent candidate for beads, cabochons, and carvings.
The Frankenstein deposit in Upper Silesia was once the foremost source of chrysoprase, but the mine has been exhausted since the 14th century. Today, most chrysoprase is found in Australia, Tanzania, Brazil and Poland. It can be seen adorning architecture in the Czech Republic capitol of Prague, including the Chapel of Saint Wenceslaus.
Chrysoprase is durable and easy to care for, with a hardness of 6.5 to 7. For safe cleaning, with wash chrysoprase jewelry in a solution of mild dish soap and warm water, rinse thoroughly and let dry. Like all fine jewelry, chrysoprase should be removed before sleeping.