Chrysophrase; oh sure, that’s easy for you to say. But can you spell it? That’s where many a jeweler trips up. Spelled chrysoprase, chrysophrase or chrysoprasus, this opaque gemstone variety of chalcedony owes its lively hue to small quantities of nickel. Find this stone in tints ranging from apple-green to deep green. The darker varieties of chrysoprase are also referred to as prase. Got it? Me neither.
Yet, this ancient material that once adorned office accessories or found its way onto book ends in aristocratic libraries has found a new fan base. Jewelry collectors have verged away from transparent gems exclusively, and now see the allure of opaque stones like chrysophrase.
Not relegated to artsy-craftsy cottage industry jewelry makers, this verdant stone is accented with quality diamonds, and mounted in fine karat gold. Like other opaque stones, veining and slight differences in color make this gem as unique as the designer who works it into an original design.
Retailers are more and more seeing the wisdom in adding opaque stones to their inventory. This way, customers with a yen for the unconventional yet beautiful jewel will be able to consider these lovelies. And since Pantone, Inc. pronounced the upbeat emerald green as the color for 2013, it’s the ideal time to promote this gem.
Award winning trade journalist and gemologist Diana Jarrett is a Registered Master Valuer Appraiser and a member of the National Association of Jewelry Appraisers (NAJA). She’s a popular speaker at conferences and trade shows. Jarrett writes for trade and consumer publications, online outlets, Color-n-Ice blog, and at www.jewelrywebsitedesigners.com. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org, visit her website at www.dianajarrett.com, and/or follow her on Facebook and Twitter (Loupey).