Chrysoprase is a very rare stone, which comes in a variety of green shades although each color has a charming specificity. It can be translucent to semi opaque. It is a gemstone variety of chalcedony that contains small quantities of nickel.
The word “Chrysoprase” comes from the Greek chrysos meaning “gold” and prason meaning “leek”. It can usually be found in Europe, Russia, The United States and Brazil, but Van Cleef & Arpels selects Australian and African chrysoprase with even colors – most often apple green tones – so that the blend is harmonious.
The Maison’s experts always choose the brightest and the more vibrant stones. They use the most beautiful colors of rough stone, to compose shiny set of stones from light sweet to deep intense tones. A good polish is always sought by Van Cleef & Arpels and difficult to obtain due to the micro-crystalline structure.
There will be no piece similar to another as the Maison works with a color range composed of more than 20 different tones of rough. Each line of stones is composed with extreme care and dedication to make each piece unique and beautiful.
The legend tells that this gemstone is one of the oldest known; it has been worn by Alexander the Great and Frederick II of Prussia among others.
Looking after chrysoprase:
To preserve the stone from damage or scratching, Van Cleef & Arpels recommends storing chrysoprase jewelry in a fabric-lined box away from other jewelry items. Moreover, due to the nickel it contains, the color of chrysoprase can fade if it is subjected to too much sunlight.