The name of this stone comes from the Greek word "chrysos" or "golden" and "prason" meaning "leek" as a reference to its color. It is sometimes called the "stone of Venus".
The chrysoprase stone is a variety of Chalcedony (fibrous type of quartz). It has nickel micro inclusions. Its color is often like apple green, and sometimes with a darker type of green.
The biggest chrysoprase was found in Coolamon in Australia and would weigh 16400 kilos.
It is one of the oldest semiprecious stones that were used by man.
It was used by Greeks, Romans and Egyptians to make seals, jewels and other objects.
According to Albertus Magnus, who was called Albert the Great, Alexander the Great used to wear a chrysoprase on his belt while fighting. It would have helped him to win battles. But one day, while Alexander had taken off his belt to bath in a river, a snake bit the stone and threw it in the water. Alexander did not find the stone and never won a battle after this.
In the middle Ages, people used to think that one could become invisible by putting a chrysoprase in one's mouth. It was also thought that it could lose its color in the presence of poison.
It was also the favorite stone of Frederic II of Prussia who used it for the furniture and the decoration of his palace.
The chrysoprase was very popular during the Victorian period during which it was used a lot for cameos, pearls and cabochons.
Mines: Germany, Australia, USA, Madagascar
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