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Chalcedony (Chrysoprase) – My Stone of the Month, May 2021

Updated: May 30, 2021



What is Chalcedony?

Chalcedony is a large family of silica based gemstones which include such stones as agate and Jasper. In this post, I will be concentrating on one specific variety – Chrysoprase. This is quite a rare stone which ranges from yellowish green to green. Its name derives from the Ancient Greek word meaning “golden apple”. The name for the wider Chalcedony family of gemstones comes from the latin, “Chalcedonius” and probably originates from the name of the town of Chalcedon in Asia Minor. Traditionally, Emerald has been considered the birthstone for the month of May, but the semi-precious gemstone, Chrysoprase has been used as an alternative for a very long time.


Geological information

Chrysoprase is a beautiful stone which ranges from being semi-transparent to translucent, which gets its distinctive colouration from its nickel oxide content. Although it is a beautiful stone, it can be a little unstable and its colour will fade if it is left in bright light for a prolonged period of time. In spite of its relative instability, it is actually a very durable stone which makes it ideal for the making of beads for jewellery and for carving into tools and figurines. It can also be dyed.



Where does it come from?

Chrysoprase was rarely used in Europe before the discovery of large deposits in Poland in the 18th Century. The last mines in Poland stopped producing at the end of the 1980s. Most Chrysoprase now comes from Australia, where it is found alongside nickel deposits. This stone is also mined in Kazaksthan, the Czech Republic, Brazil, Tanzania, India, Russia and California.


History

This gemstone was known to the Romans and Greeks and was widely used in seal rings due to the fact that molten wax will not stick to it. The Roman Natural Philosopher, Pliny the Elder, mentions it in his work, “Naturis Historia”. Its history of use by humans, though, goes much further back in time than Greece or Rome. The oldest evidence if its use was for the making of tools by the ancient Aboriginal peoples of Australis some 32,000 years ago! There is also evidence of it being used in the Minoan culture and artifacts have been found at the Palace of Knossos. However, it only really became popular in the 18th century following the discovery of large deposits in Poland.


Physical and healing properties?

There are many positive benefits of this stone which include:

· Detoxifying the body of impurities and poisons

· Brings energy

· Aids the liver, skin, digestion, heart and reproductive organs

· Aids fertility

· Promotes love, truth and fidelity

· Promotes business relationships

· Enhances creativity

· Combats anger and compulsive thoughts

· Promotes independence and commitment



Fortunaearrings is a handmade jewellery store featuring a wide range of unique earrings made of gemstones and sterling silver. As well as gemstone earrings which will appeal to the gemstone collector, you will also find a range of earrings made of Venetian glass lampworked at my Devon workshop. See my full handmade jewellery portfolio by clicking the shop link at the top of this page.

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