Gem Hunting: Chrysoprase

Gem Hunting: Chrysoprase

When most think of vivid green gemstones, emerald comes to mind. And while we love a jaw-dropping Columbian emerald as much as the next gem-obsessed person, we also have a soft spot in our hearts for the far more accessibly-priced, yet still stunning, semi-precious stone Chrysoprase.

Chrysoprase is a form of green chalcedony and the most valuable stone in the chalcedony group. It has been collected since antiquity and is said to provide good luck to those who wear it.

The color of the most rare Chrysoprase has a translucent quality. Popular in China, this unusual variety duplicates the appearance of the finest jadeite and is even called “Australian Jade.”

Today, Chrysoprase is mined only in two mines in the Australian Outback, the larger Gumigil Chrysoprase Mine (now nearing depletion) and the smaller Candala Chrysoprase Mine.

Having used the deeper, grass-green gems in our collection and bespoke, client-designed earrings, we were thrilled to enhance our knowledge of Chrysoprase with the discovery of a local source of translucent beads from the Gumigil Mine. Brokered through only one Hong Kong company since 1967, these rare beads were an instant must-have!

Chrysoprase has a hardness rating of 7 to 7.5 on Moh’s hardness scale, making it extremely versatile and durable enough to enjoy wearing everyday. We would love to see grass green cuff links, a long beaded necklace with 18k gold beads interspersed, or a single-stone pendant enhanced with sparkly white diamonds. See the links below for inspiration, and work with us to design your own custom Chrysophase piece today!

A client’s design for Chrysoprase stud earrings – gorgeous!

http://asiagemconnection.com/2013/10/09/chrysophrase-and-tsavorite-studs/

Translucent, apple green Chrysoprase beads celebrated in our simple 18k gold bracelet:

https://www.etsy.com/listing/189799235/rare-chrysoprase-australian-jade-and-18k

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