A gem often used for its many virtues, chrysoprase stone is considered a love stone and is associated with the heart chakra. It is a natural remedy against insomnia and was used to detect poison, making this a very versatile stone. Whether you are interested in its energetic virtues or simply its aesthetics, here is everything you need to know about chrysoprase stone and its virtues.
It is one of the most ancient semi-precious stones used by man throughout history and is well-known for its psychological and physical virtues. Indeed, many studies have demonstrated that ancient peoples such as the Greeks, Romans or Egyptians made daily use of it: for example, in the crafting of seals or jewels, but also of many other objects, whether for its beneficial or simply aesthetic virtues.
Traces of this can be found in the various historical accounts that remain, regardless of how ancient they may be: not only do we find a description of chrysoprase in the work ‘Natural History’ by Pliny the Elder (23–79 AD), famous Roman writer and naturalist, it more importantly features in a Bible passage which describes the city of New Jerusalem in detail: its streets, its houses and its public buildings. Its traces are found in the foundation of the city walls which is made of many precious stones.
Albertus Magnus wrote that the legendary Alexander the Great (356 BC – 323 BC), King of Macedonia and Greek conqueror, always wore one in his belt whilst in battle, evidently for good fortune and military victory. He believed that it fostered wisdom and helped him to make the right decisions during important strategic campaigns. This until the day when, wanting to cross a river, a snake suddenly appeared and bit Alexander’s saddle: in the midst of the action, the indispensable amulet fell in the water. One can predict the rest of the story: the unfortunate encounter was a bad omen for him, who, unable to find the stone despite his searching, could never win a single battle again…
Much later, in the Middle Ages, it was believed to possess powers of invisibility: for this, it had to be held in the mouth. Others saw it as a stone which could detect poison. For example, if the stone turned colourless, it would indicate the presence of poison not far from oneself. It was also common knowledge that the famous green stone had the power to relieve certain ailments such as gout. Of course, Alexander the Great was not the only one with a special interest in chrysoprase stone: Frederick II of Prussia adored it so much that he wanted to use it for the decoration of his palace; no doubt the semi-precious stone must have conformed well to the aesthetic codes of his time, as even parts of his furniture were embellished with chrysoprase. Throughout each period of history, it found very specific uses: in antiquity, the Middle Ages, and also during the Victorian era! During the latter period, it was worn on many necks and fingers, i.e. for cameos, intaglios, beads or cabochons!
It is therefore not new to use chrysoprase for jewellery and other beautiful adornments (pendants, bracelets, necklaces, …). The advantage of this mineral is that it lends itself perfectly to various types of sizes, which is why, as in Victorian times, it is still found in cabochons, beads or even intaglios. It is thus fascinating to study the origins and composition of this stone which is at once interesting for its virtues, beauty, history and, of course, its incredible longevity which stretches from ancient times until today.
Interestingly, the largest weighed 16,400 kilograms: this impressive specimen was discovered in Coolamon, a tiny Australian village with a population of just over a thousand, 506 kilometres south-west of Sydney. There are very beautiful chrysoprase deposits in Australia. This may be all the more surprising given that it is the most expensive and sought-after chrysoprase variety due to its rarity. The first hypothesis concerning its origins comes from the knight John Mandeville, an English explorer and author from the 14th century: according to him, chrysoprase came from India.
Unfortunately, the very name ‘chrysoprase’ does not help us to establish the accuracy of this information, as the name comes from the Greek “Chrysos” and “Prason” which translate to “golden” and “leek” respectively: no doubt a reference to its radiance. It’s worth noting that it is sometimes termed ‘Venus stone’! In any case, the mineral’s very name is not recognised by the International Mineralogical Association (IMA).
This mineral variety, a fibrous form of microcrystalline quartz called chalcedony, contains micro-inclusions of nickel as well as silicate hydrate: these two materials give it its colour. Moreover, the latter can vary from apple green to dark green, which is often rarer. Note that it is also found in very bright green or even almost white shades: it therefore looks rather like jadeitis, of which it is often confused with.
It is recognised for its powerful compassion and kindness qualities. Indeed, many agree that it helps to soothe anger, to alleviate negative feelings such as jealousy or injustice that burden us: it is therefore the perfect stone for the heart chakra and positive energies.
In addition, chrysoprase stone works cyclically: it begins a questioning process which passes through inward-looking phases to regeneration phases. In this way, it enables us to implement the necessary changes in our behaviour, attitudes or our psyche. This gem prompts moderation and allows the wearer to step back for a clearer perspective as well as detach from a complex situation: rather similarly to how Alexander the Great made use of it. In short, chrysoprase boosts self-confidence.
Psychologically and spiritually, chrysoprase stone is recognised as a liberating stone: it rids the mind of anything that might hinder its natural development. It offers courage to those who doubt or lack self-confidence, while offering new perspectives: creativity and inspiration often emerge in their place.
It is also recognised for its anti-tension and anti-stress properties as it helps with concentration and relaxation. This is very likely the reason it is considered the stone of motherly love: through its effect of channelling positive feelings such as love or tenderness.
Chrysoprase is known as a magnificent jewel with considerable benefits for the wearer’s psyche, but it is also known for its energetic virtues and the physical advantages it brings.
Many agree, for example, that chrysoprase stone detoxifies the body and stimulates the liver, particularly in the case of health problems: however, this is not the only reason to always keep it near you, on your belt or as jewellery. It also has the ability to regulate blood pressure and even strengthen the heart. This has a direct effect on the general health of the wearer, as it thus strengthens metabolism as well as all endocrine functions.
Many recommend it for childbirth, especially for labour pains: it’s soothing properties alone can be of great help. Even more astonishingly, it is also recommended for infertility that may be caused by infectious diseases. As previously mentioned, its primary virtues are of relaxation and healing: it will therefore be of great help for small sleepers, or for anyone suffering from insomnia, as the presence of this crystal fosters deep and restful sleep.