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Behind the Gems: Chrysoprase

“Behind the Gems” is a long-running monthly series that takes you on an exclusive, behind-the-scenes tour of our signature collections.

If you have been keeping an eye on our shop since our rebrand, you know that some of our latest earrings feature an intriguing, green-tinted stone.

Its name? Chrysoprase.

In this edition of BtG, we will go over what it is, what it signifies and how it shaped our vision for the new pieces.

Chrysoprase: Etymology And Symbolism

The word chrysoprase comes from the Greek words chrysos, meaning “gold”, and prasinon, meaning “green”. And it is indeed its colour which makes it special: its divine green hue sets it apart and makes it instantly recognisable.

As for its symbolism, chrysoprase is known for manifesting optimism, prosperity, joy, and happiness.

Chrysoprase: Composition And Origins

Chrysoprase is a green gemstone variety of chalcedony, which is a type of quartz. Unlike emeralds - the other famous type of green stones - which get their colour from chromium, chrysoprase gets its green colour from small quantities of nickel in its structure.

In terms of range, it runs the gamut from apple green to dark green.

On the Mohs scale, chrysoprase is a 6 or a 7. For reference, diamonds are a full 10, while talc is a 1. This means that chrysoprase is relatively hard and, as such, perfectly suited for earrings and pendants. However, it is not strong enough to be used on rings due to the risk of damage.

The top sources of chrysoprase are Indonesia, Australia, Tanzania and the USA, while in Europe chrysoprase can be found in Germany and Poland.

Our Chrysoprase Pieces: The Backstory

We fell in love with the pale green hues of the chrysoprase drops whilst browsing for stones. The initial vision was to make them into simple drop earrings:

Lemon Chrysoprase Earrings (Medium)

After seeing just how good they looked as earrings, we couldn't resist creating a few more designs of increased complexity. Thus, these transformable earrings came to be:

 

 

To bring out the warmth in the stones, we opted for 18ct yellow gold, a magical pairing with the alluring green of the chrysoprase.

We have also opted for an enclosed setting (instead of the usual claw setting) for the accompanying studs to add a bit of drama to the look.

Needless to say, we adore how the chrysoprase earrings turned out and how versatile they are both in terms of function and wearability. They will look good on most skin tones, making them an all-round pair of earrings to add to your jewellery box. View all the new chrysoprase pieces here.