A variety of chalcedony, chrysoprase has a characteristic apple-green hue and is composed of ultra-fine crystals that cannot be distinguished under normal magnification. Whereas other green gems including emerald and chrome diopside gain their green color from the presence of chromium, chrysoprase enjoys its spectral brilliance thanks to trace amounts of nickel. Often, chrysoprase deposits will exhibit brown veins of iron oxides running through the gem.
Chrysoprase is a cryptocrystalline, meaning that unlike other rock crystals like amethyst and citrine, chrysoprase isn’t formed from large, hexagonal crystal structures. Because of its rare makeup, chyrsoprase has an unmatched beauty and has been used to adorn pharaohs, ancient Greek and Roman rulers, and cathedrals.
With the largest mines located in Poland, chrysoprase can also be found in Queensland, Western Australia, Russia, the Southwest United States, and Brazil.