Chysoprase is the green gemstone in the chalcedony family, which is a cryptocrystaline quartz. That means that it is a quartz, but unlike transparent varieties like amethyst or citrine, it is made of teeny tiny crystaline particles and looks more like a glowing rock rather than a geometric crystal shapes. It is always milky-translucent or opaque, never perfectly clear. Its green color is unique among green gemstones – a cool light apple green to dark forest green. It has been used in jewelry for thousands of years – by the Romans, and Ancient Egyptions. Its name comes from the greek “chrysos” (meaning: gold) and “prasinon” (meaning: green). Of all the gemstones in the Chalcedony family, chrysoprase is the most precious. The most famous, large and historic mine is in Poland, but many believe the finest comes from a more recent discovery in Western Australia.

The most important factor in determining the value of chrysoprase is its color. After color, translucence and size will have strong influence.

Light Color:  These chrysoprase gems have a nice translucence but their light color will keep them inexpensive.  Under $20. Opaque: This piece of chrysoprase is bluish, cut to include its matrix and relatively opaque. The best: This is a Necklace designed by Paloma Picasso for Tiffany that sold at an Auction for $13,000.  The beads are uniform, perfectly round, glowingly translucent and vibrant apple green.

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