Chrysoprase – the captivating apple-green gemstone

It has been a long, hot summer so far this year. When selecting what to wear, I find I am drawn to the cooler colours in the spectrum – greens and turquoises – as they are refreshingly restful. According to a blog about art therapy, there is actually a bit of scientific logic applied to this – because the eye focuses the color green directly on the retina, it is said to be less strainful on your eye muscles.

When stone buying, I always find it hard to resist the lure of green gemstones and my favourite of these has to be chrysoprase. The word chrysoprase comes from the Greek chrysos meaning ‘gold’ and prasinon, meaning ‘green’. The ancient Greeks and Romans used chrysoprase to make cameos and intaglios. Chrysoprase can also be found in the decoration and jewellery of the Ancient Pharaohs. The gem was used lavishly in Europe until the middle of the last century, when sources were exhausted and it became rare and expensive.


Chrysoprase has been historically renowned for having some incredible powers. In ancient China, it was believed to balance the Yin and Yang, while in India it was believed to heal a broken heart. In the Middle Ages it was believed that by putting a piece of chrysoprase in your mouth, you would become invisible. It was also thought that the stone would lose its colour in the presence of poison. A Roman folklore claims chrysoprase enabled its owner to understand the language of lizards.

Mines in Poland once produced very fine chrysoprase. Since 1965, the best quality material has come from Queensland, Australia. Other localities include The Urals in Russia, California in the USA, Brazil and Austria. The colour is derived from the presence of nickel and the stone may be confused with jade.

Chrysoprase is an alternative birthstone to emerald for May birthdays. It is also one of the gemstones linked with Gemini and it is the Ancient Russian birthstone for December.

I love combining chrysoprase with white pearls as they offset each other so well; understated and very flattering for every day chic. Perfect with a white shirt and denim for an ‘al fresco’ lunch with friends. Examples are the new Livia Necklace and Livia Earrings to match. The stone also pairs very well with turquoise and vibrant amazonite as seen in my Alma Pendant.

Livia Necklace

Livia Earrings

Alma Pendant


I have recently been getting back into Pinterest and have started a board celebrating green gemstones along with inspiring ‘green-themed’ images. 

If you are interested, this is the link: