Chrysoprase is apple-green chalcedony that derives its color from nickel. Its hardness and striking color make it a popular gemstone for jewelry as well as carvings.
A variety of chalcedony, chrysoprase is a cryptocrystalline quartz gemstone. Transparency ranges from nearly opaque to nearly transparent. Its colors range from apple to olive green and nearly pure greens with medium tones.
Sometimes, you may encounter the term “prase” used to describe chrysoprase gems with darker tones. However, prase is also used to refer to green chalcedonies colored by chlorite inclusions found in Europe.
With no cleavage and a hardness of 6.5-7, chrysoprases make excellent gems for any type of jewelry. However, since some stones may have a hardness below 7, using protective settings for a ring would be advisable. Gems with a hardness below 7 are susceptible to scratches from everyday wear as well as a very common hazard: household dust.