What is Chrysoprase?
Chrysoprase relates to the heart and sacral chakras and rates as a 7 on the Mohs scale of hardness. The name Chrysoprase is derived from the Greek words chrysos (which means golden) and prasinon (which means green). Chrysoprase is also referred to as Australian Jade.
Chrysoprase is the rarer apple green coloured form of Chalcedony, which gets its colour from Nickel inclusions. This crystal is a microcrystalline variety of Chalcedony Quartz which means that the crystal structure is too small to be seen with the naked eye.
For a long time the main deposits of Chrysoprase could only be found in Poland however today Chrysoprase can be found in Australia, Brazil, Madagascar and Russia. Australia is now the main source of Chrysoprase and the Marlborough district in Queensland is well-known for its exceptional quality.
Chrysoprase is one of the crystals that can fade if exposed to heat or strong sunlight.
Chrysoprase in history
Chrysoprase has been used throughout history, with the Ancient Greeks, Romans and Egyptians using it for jewellery and seals. Chrysoprase jewellery was also all the rage in Victorian times.
Frederick the Great, who ruled the Kingdom of Prussia from 1740 until 1786, loved Chrysoprase so much that he decorated his palace at Potsdam with scores of ornaments and furniture made from Chrysoprase. This Chrysoprase came from an area called Silesia, which is what we now know as Poland, and was the first territory he conquered during the War of the Austrian Succession. Some of his collection included 2 solid Chrysoprase tables, a ring which he always wore, a walking stick with a Chrysoprase handle and many snuff boxes. It is believed that one of these snuff boxes saved his life when he was hit by a bullet during the Battle of Künersdorf!
Another famous king, Alexander the Great who ruled Macedonia from 336 to 323 BC, believed that wearing Chrysoprase on his belt brought him luck and victory during his many battles. Legend has it that he took off his belt so that he could wash in a river ... Along came a snake who took the Chrysoprase off the belt and flung it into the river. The missing Chrysoprase upset Alexander the Great so much that he didn't win another battle.
Finally, in the middle ages it was thought that Chrysoprase could make you become invisible if you placed a piece in your mouth. Apparently, it was very popular among criminals who were facing death by hanging! In addition, it was believed that Chrysoprase would turn colourless if poison was nearby.
Metaphysical properties of Chrysoprase
As Chrysoprase is a crystal for the heart, it can be used to attract love. The calm, supportive energy of Chrysoprase brings trust, optimism and compassion to a relationship. Chrysoprase also assists with positive thinking towards others and attracting abundance into your life.
Physically, Chrysoprase is said to be useful for balancing hormones, enhancing fertility, healing the digestive system and getting a good night's sleep.
Australian Chrysoprase from Marlborough in QLD
One of the largest specimens of Chrysoprase was found by Australian miners Jenny and Jim Elliot in Marlborough. This piece, which is about 16 tonnes, was donated by the Elliots to the National Rock Garden in Canberra. The energy from this huge boulder must be amazing, and we're very lucky that we can all share in its beauty - it'll be well worth the trip to Canberra if you get a chance!