Chrysoprase – stone mascot of March

Chrysoprase is a semi-precious and ornamental stone, a type of quartz. The stone is characterised by rather high hardness: 6.5-7 on the Mohs scale. The word "chrysoprase" comes from the Greek language, the ancient Greek χρυσός means "gold", πράσον means "leek". The colour of the stone is usually apple green, but can vary to dark green and bluish green. When exposed to direct sunlight for a long time, the crystal may fade, and in order to restore the saturation of colour, it is recommended to wrap it for some time in a damp cloth. Unlike many other opaque varieties of quartz, chrysoprase is valued for its colour rather than its pattern or design. Gemmologists distinguish between:
– emerald green chrysoprase, homogeneous. The highest quality. Have colour consistency and high colour. Usually well translucent through the large thickness of the stone up to 5 cm;
– apple-green chrysoprase, homogeneous. First-quality. Usually this chrysoprase is translucent for no more than 2 cm. The stone may have whitish, non-translucent areas
– pale coloured spotted chrysoprase. This is B-quality variety, ornamental stone. As a rule, such chrysoprase is bluish-green or yellow-green in colour with a heterogeneous structure. Milky-white spots may be present in the colouring of the stone, and the structure may alternate between translucent and opaque areas.

Deposits of chrysoprase are few, for example, it is almost never found in Russia. Rich deposits of chrysoprase are found in Queensland, Western Australia, Germany, Poland, Kazakhstan, Arizona, California and Brazil. However, exquisite chrysoprase forms large clusters only in some deposits of nickel-silicate ores.

Chrysoprase resembles several minerals at once; one can distinguish them visually without special knowledge. Emerald, unlike chrysoprase, is completely transparent and lustrous. Jade, on the other hand, is opaque and its colouring is paler than that of chrysoprase. Green agate has stripes that chrysoprase does not have.

Chrysoprase has been known since ancient times. It is mentioned in biblical texts. In the Book of Revelation, chrysoprase is listed among the precious stones that make up the walls of the heavenly city. The Greeks and Romans used chrysoprase to make gems, stones with an image carved on them, which were worn in rings or used as seals. In this capacity, chrysoprase is mentioned by Pliny the Elder, the first mineralogist of antiquity, in his famous treatise on stones. Alexander the Great believed in the magical power of chrysoprase and wore the amulet as a pendant on his belt. Legends about the stone as the material from which the Holy Grail cup was created were brought to Europe by the Crusaders. The stone became especially popular in the 18th century, when its deposits began to be massively developed in Europe, in Silesia (in what is now Poland).

Chrysoprase began to be used as jewellery in necklaces, earrings and bracelets, framed with diamonds. In Prussia, Frederick II wore a unique talisman ring with chrysoprase and, preferring the mineral to rubies and diamonds, amassed a significant collection of the stone in the Sans Souci Castle. Empress Catherine II, being a passionate admirer of precious stones, had in her collection gold ring with chrysoprase and diamonds, now stored in the Hermitage.

After three centuries, chrysoprase has not lost its relevance as a jewellery stone. Chrysoprase is very rarely faceted. Most often, this gem is processed in the form of cabochon, that is, it has a smooth polished surface. The stone acquires round or oval shape, but there are products in the form of a heart, pendant or polygon. It is this form of processing that allows the stone to show its colour and texture to the maximum. Earrings, pendants, rings and men's rings are made with chrysoprase inlays. Master stone cutters cut decorative figures of various shapes from the opaque stone.

The bright green mineral has always been attributed mystical powers. It is said that the gem protects its owner from any external negative influences, keeps from untruth. Amulets with chrysoprase will help in various endeavours, allows a person to achieve the desired perfection. Magic experts advise to wear it to bankers, merchants and all those who have any connection with sales. The stone also has the ability to persuade and develop the talent of eloquence. If one needs to become a good public speaker, he should provide himself with this gemstone beforehand.
But there are certain conditions for the stone to start really helping you. The most important thing is to refuse passivity, to act proactively, to focus on victory.

We suggest taking a close look at several items with chrysoprase inclusions in the museum Collection repository.On the cover: Composition "Nectar Feeder". Author's mark: Erwin Klein, Brighton Court. Germany, Idar-Oberstein. 1982 г.

Fairy-tail lady fox. Manfred Wild, Germany, Idar-Oberstein. The 20the century

Singing Bird BoxGermany. Late 19th century

Vase-ladleN. Bobir commercial and industrial workshop. Russia, St. Petersburg. 1908-1917

Tray (from the cruchon set). Ovchnnikov factory. Russia, Moscow. The last quarter of the 19th century