This semi-opaque, apple-green gemstone is the rarest of the chalcedony group, and is prized for its colour and imperfect beauty. Unlike other green stones, the striking green colour derives from nickel, its colour varying from pale apple green to dark green depending on the nickel content. Found in places such as Tanzania, Australia, Brazil, the Ural Mountains and the US, the name ‘Chrysoprase’ comes from the Greek words ‘chrys’, meaning ‘gold or yellow’ and ‘prase’, meaning ‘green’. Therefore, Chrysoprase literally means ‘yellow or golden green’.
Chrysoprase was the favoured gemstone of Alexander the Great who believed it would protect him from evil and was used as his crowning gem. It was a popular stone for jewellery and ornamental items in many great civilizations such as the Ancient Greeks, Romans and Egyptians. Referred to as ‘the stone of Venus’, it was the sacred stone of Aphrodite, Greek Goddess of Love.A stone of the heart chakra, it activates healing energy through the heart, evoking joy, happiness and forgiveness. It is thought that the placement of this stone over a wound will speed up the healing process, working particularly well over a broken heart. Chrysoprase is a birthstone of Gemini by star sign and for May by birth month.