Posted on by Nevil Agrawal

The name ‘chrysoprase’ has its origin from the Greek words ‘khrusós’ and ‘prason,’ which means ‘gold’ and ‘leek’ respectively. The name refers to the unique leek-green color and the shades of gold. Unlike a majority of green colored gemstones that attribute their color to chromium, chrysoprase is an emerald green variety of chalcedony that owes its color to the presence of nickel. The ancient Greeks, Egyptians and Romans used it to make signets, seals, jewelry, and other decorative objects. This buying guide will tell you everything you need to know about chrysoprase and how to identify a real one.


chrysoprase gemstone


What is Chrysoprase?


Chrysoprase is a cryptocrystalline form of silicon dioxide. This distinct gemstone is a variety of chalcedony quartz and is held in high regard for its opalescent minty and apple-green color. Nickel impurities are the distinctive coloring agents that set chrysoprase apart from other colorless quartz crystals. It is considered as one of the most valuable varieties of chalcedony and is second only to green-blue gem silica. Like other varieties of cryptocrystalline quartz, chrysoprase is made of very fine crystals that cannot be seen even under magnification.


Origin of Chrysoprase and Where it is Found:


Chrysoprase often occurs in quartz veins of nickel-bearing serpentine rocks and weathered deposits of nickel ore materials. Although it is a fairly rare gemstone, it is found in abundance in existing deposits. In Kazakhstan, the excavated chrysoprase mineral usually weighs at least one kilo. Russia also holds a significant number of deposits, but the most important chrysoprase deposits are those found in Poland. It is also found in the USA, Brazil, Australia, Tasmania, and India.


Similar and Related Variants of Chrysoprase:


  • Chrome Chalcedony: These two gems are remarkably similar, telling them apart can be a real struggle sometimes. This is because most of their properties like hardness and luster are shared. Both can be either translucent or opaque and are green. The major difference between them is, chrysoprase owes its tint to nickel, while chrome chalcedony gets its hue from the presence of chromium. Chrome chalcedony occurs in a cooler shade of green, whereas chrysoprase tends to be much warmer in hue, closer to blue and gold on the spectrum, respectively.
  • Serpentine: Chrysoprase can be found in deposits of serpentine. Unlike chrome chalcedony, serpentine is quite dissimilar in appearance. It has a warmer shade, mossy green color, and is much closer to yellow in hue. Occasionally, serpentine is opaque but still carries sharp contrasts from chrysoprase.
  • Jade: Jade is an in-between of serpentine and chrysoprase. Jade can be found in many colors, but it is usually found in an apple-green hue, similar to chrysoprase. It can be difficult to tell them apart, but by holding the gemstone up to a light and looking inside, they can be differentiated easily. If you can identify any fibrous inclusions, you are probably holding a jade. Chrysoprase never showcases fibrous structure due to its dense microcrystalline lattice.
chrysoprase cabochons



  • Variscite: Variscite is sometimes mixed up with chrysoprase due to their shared apple-green hue. However, variscite is softer, has a waxier appearance, and tends to have a number of tan-colored veins crisscrossing it, unlike chrysoprase.
  • Prehnite: Another green gemstone sometimes confused with chrysoprase, it is typically translucent and has a relatively uniform appearance. It can be distinguished by its hue, which is a lot more subdued than the vivid color of chrysoprase.
chrysoprase briolettes


The 3 C’s of Chrysoprase:


Color :

Chrysoprase can be found in various shades of green ranging from minty-green to apple-green. Deeper colors are in more demand, but once the color reaches a certain depth, the stone is classified as 'prase' and is no longer chrysoprase. Long periods of exposure to heat or direct light can weaken the color. Fortunately, the color can be restored after the absorption of some moisture.



Chrysoprase is translucent to opaque. Translucent specimens are considered more valuable. When the stone is cut and polished, it gains a vitreous to waxy luster. Chrysoprase contains an uneven, but very clean and cloudy distribution of color.



Chrysoprase is generally cut en cabochon. It is especially popular when carved for cameos, ornamental objects, seals, intaglios, and insignia. Common shapes like round, hearts, ovals, trillions, and pears are also popular.


chrysoprase carvings


Treatments of Chrysoprase:


Ordinary chalcedony is dyed green to replicate chrysoprase and is incorrectly sold as "chrysoprase" or "chalcedony chrysoprase" or "chrysoprase chalcedony." When shopping for chrysoprase, many vendors believe that any green chalcedony is "chrysoprase.” Such dyed materials have a flawless appearance and a consistent green color. Genuine chrysoprase exhibits at least some variation in color, saturation, or diaphaneity. Most chrysoprase requires no treatment.


chrysoprase cabochons


How to take care of chrysoprase?


  • Cleaning Chrysoprase: Avoid resorting to ultrasonic or steam cleaners, instead just get a soft toothbrush and clean using warm, soapy water. Mild detergents should be preferred over harsh chemicals because chrysoprase is porous and can easily soak up chemicals and other substances.
  • Storing Chrysoprase: Excessive heat or light can gradually leech the color out of chrysoprase. Find a cool, dark place to avoid exposure. Chrysoprase is harder than a lot of other gemstones, so it is less troublesome to store than other softer gems, but just in case, keep it inside an individual pouch or compartment. Harder stones like diamonds can cause scratches.
  • Wearing Chrysoprase: Avoid wearing it while applying hairsprays, perfumes, and other cosmetics as they might damage it. Remove it before engaging in any physical activity that might create unnecessary contact with the stone.


What are the metaphysical properties of chrysoprase and why should you use it?


  • Promotes joy and happiness while helping to protect the heart from the negative energy of depression and anxiety.
  • Believed to help one release ego based negativity, which comes with co-dependent relationships.
  • It helps you understand concepts like Divine Truth more deeply as you center yourself within your heart.
  • Through the heart chakra, apple green chrysoprase exudes an energy of love, and through the solar plexus chakra, it empowers you with the energy of abundance on many levels.
  • Chrysoprase stone is believed to have a protective quality that has made it known among sensitive healing groups and those who have the qualities of empathy that they cannot control.
chrysoprase stone


 Where should you buy chrysoprase gemstones?

 At GemsforJewels, we offer chrysoprase of the highest quality. These stones can be bought loose, as cabochons, connectors, and strands; there are umpteen varieties for you to choose from. We also have a range of different shapes to pick from, including round, oval, pear, cube, and other appealing shapes. Chrysoprase is an attractive and renowned gemstone known and loved all around the world.