One of the most beautiful green gemstones is chrysoprase!
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This beautiful gemstone is a member of the quartz family. Chrysoprase is a form of chalcedony, like carnelian. Like other agates, it has a microcrystalline structure, meaning the mineral is composed of microscopic quartz crystals tightly knit together. Chrysoprase and other chalcedonies are silica minerals, and this type is hydrated - there's water bonded in the stone's chemical stew. This gives chrysoprase a beautiful translucent glow.
The green color is caused by nickel impurities. Good quality chrysoprase is a bright vivid green color.
There is also a less valuable lemon yellow variety. Bright green chrysoprase is the most valuable form of chalcedony.
Chrysoprase is used to make amazing cabochons, carvings and beads.
The best quality material has recently been mined in Australia. Traditionally Poland has been the major European source of chrysoprase.
Like other quartz gemstones, Chrysoprase is a 7 on the Mohs hardness scale. This gemstone is durable enough to be used in jewelry that gets a bit of wear, like a bracelet or a ring.
Chrysoprase Care Tips
When set in sterling silver or gold jewelry, it can be cleaned and polished in the usual manner using a commercial jewelry polish or a rouge polishing cloth. It is an easy to care for stone. Steam and ultrasonic cleaning is usually OK.
After polishing, rinse your chrysoprase jewelry well with clean water, and then dry with a soft cloth.
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