All About Chrysoprase! (and 3 reasons to give it to someone!)
The more I learn about this gemstone, the more I fall in love with it! It's like the lotus of gemstones, opening up layers of beauty and depth! Let's dive in and discover what this gem is, where it comes from, a bit of it's history and lore, and when it makes for the perfect gift!
- What is Chrysoprase?
- What is the meaning of Chrysoprase?
- When was Chrysoprase discovered?
- Who Should Wear Chrysoprase?
- How do I care for Chrysoprase jewelry?
3 reasons to give someone Chrysoprase jewelry
What is Chrysoprase?
Chrysoprase is pronounced "krai·sow·preiz" (or more easily, you can sound it out like "cry-so-praise" or "chris-O-praise," either are correct.) In my experience, I've almost only heard it prounouced "chris-o-praise."
Chrysoprase is arguably the most sought after gemstone from the Chalcedony family. (Chalcedony is pronounce "cal-sid-nee.")
This green to yellow and often exhibiting brown gem can be found solid, or with stunning patterns and inclusions that seem to paint an ocean scene, rich with life and wonder!
The stone is translucent, allowing a milky glow of light through it. I've seen brilliantly green Chrysoprase gems that made me think they glow in the dark! I've also seen deep green ones that calmly gave me a feeling of possibility.
What is the meaning of Chrysoprase?
Chrysoprase comes from the Greek words "chrys" for "yellow or gold" and "prase" for "leek" or sometimes translated "green."
I was intrigued by this translation of "golden leek." Yes, the stone is yellow-green in color, but what about the leek? There is a connection between leeks and Chrysoprase. Let's dig a little deeper...
Have you ever looked closely at a leek? The green onion has a beautiful color gradient from blue-green at the tips to yellow-green towards the base, down to the white bulb and brown roots. What a stunningly similar array of colors to Chrysoprase!
Chrysoprase has been admired for it's association with healing, especially in terms of forgiveness, and leeks share a similar function.
I remember last spring, my mom was having neck surgery and she asked me to make her soup. I remember buying handfuls of leeks to puree for her. The beautiful colors in them made the experience feel cathartic and like an outpouring of love and art. I ended up planting some of the discarded bulbs (and feeding the trimmings to my pet goats.) The leek began sprouting from the bulb in the dirt almost immediately, and towards the end of the summer, I was rewarded with a large spherical flower similar to a big clover blossom.
Both leeks and Chrysoprase are used to aid healing. Leeks are anti-inflammatory and full of vitamins and minerals, and Chrysoprase is touted to have healing powers, too. To add to this, the colors in Chrysoprase illicit a feeling of safety and calm, 2 feelings you can't heal without!
To further this connection, if you've ever cooked with fresh leeks, you can recall the unfolding of the leaves and the elegant unfolding of the plant down to the sweet and tender core. In many ways, the leek is like a lotus, layers of truth that make up the whole. Many view Chrysoprase similarly; that it will help open up to truth and understanding. Perhaps this was known all the way back when it was named "golden leek."
When was Chrysoprase discovered?
One of the amazing things about Chrysoprase, this gemstone is found in many parts of the world and has a rich history, dating back to over 2,300 years ago! The highest quality Chrysoprase is mined in Australia, but there are even several parts of the United States where it is mined.
As for the timeline, I've heard all sorts of different dates for Chrysoprase's discovery, including the 1700's, but that was just when it was popularized in Europe. I hardly think that counts as the discovery date considering there are tales and lore of Alexander the Great and his Chrysoprase belt he wore into battle and victory, until the day he lost the stone and lost his first battle. Also, the ancient Greeks, Romans and Egyptians are known to have used the stone for carved seals.
Who Should Wear Chrysoprase?
Well, the short answer is: anyone! Anyone that feels drawn to it or joy when they look at the stone. Green is one of the most common colors in nature and when we feast our eyes on it, it fills us with a sense of safety and peace.
Wear a Chrysoprase if you want a little extra calm and connection with nature and truth.
Give someone Chrysoprase if they need healing or peace.
Have a relationship that needs mending and forgiveness? Start by giving them a piece of Chrysoprase jewelry. The gemstone symbolizes forgiveness and many believe it to be an aid in forgiving.
Personally, the patterned Chrysoprase reminds me of the sea. Maybe you've been missing the ocean or maybe you live near it and it holds a special place in your heart. Wearing a piece of Chrysoprase with these patterns can help you take a piece of it everywhere you go!
Chrysoprase is also the perfect gift for anyone born in May, as it it the May birthstone.
Chrysoprase is also the 18th anniversary gemstone!
3 reasons to give someone Chrysoprase jewelry:
- Chrysoprase is stunning!
- It symbolizes healing and forgiveness.
- It evokes feelings of calm and truth.
How do I care for Chrysoprase jewelry?
Chrysoprase can be scratched, like any gemstone, but it is on the more durable side. Being a 7 on the MOHS hardness (out of 10) it is hard, but if you are rough with it, you might notice a few light scratches.
Care for your Chrysoprase like you would any other gemstone in the Quartz or Chalcedony family and treat the silver or gold like you would any other silver or gold. Do your best to not wear it when you sleep, shower, work out, handle chemicals, or engage in anything a little more rough and tumble than every day activities (like, don't garden, punch brick walls, or fight off ninjas wearing it.)
Simply wash the piece in warm, soapy water and buff the metal with a polishing cloth. If the silver is heavily tarnished, you can use a silver anti-tarnish cleaner, but do NOT soak it long and do follow the directions on the bottle.
Again, I never recommend plated or gold-filled jewelry. It doesn't last, the process to make it is extremely toxic, it promotes throw-away culture, and you won't be able to wear or treasure gold plated or gold-filled jewelry for long. It just isn't quality stuff, and as such, when you where it, it often makes you feel less valuable.
Chrysoprase is a stunning gemstone! It has a rich history and has been sought out for hundreds of years, if not more. Both the patterned and solid Chrysoprase gemstones are used in jewelry and make excellent gifts. It's a durable gemstone and is traditionally used for the May birth month as well as the 18th anniversary.
I will be releasing an incredible collection of one-of-a-kind Chrysoprase jewelry soon. Get on my email list TODAY! I offer first dibs to my list which also includes first look pricing. Yes, that's right. Before these pieces will be available to the public, I offer them to my email list AND offer a discount.