By Danielle Olivia Tefft, jewelry writer
Look at this beautiful treasure from the 1920s. Isn't it breath-taking? The ornate mounting was created in sterling silver by an artisan's hand. Do you know what the name of the gorgeous green gemstone with the unique oval cut-out is? If you guessed jade or jadeite (and many do), you are incorrect. The gemstone in this mesmerizing vintage ring is chrysoprase (also spelled crysoprase). Chrysoprase is the name for green chalcedony. It is the most prized color of chalcedony because it is so lovely and also so rare.
Chrysoprase has been used in ornamentation for thousands of years. It was used to adorn jewelry and sacred sites in ancient Egypt. It was Alexander the Great's favorite gemstone. In fact, the word "chrysoprase" is derived from Greek words. Chrysoprase was also highly prized in Russia. Faberge used it to decorate his some of his most extraordinary jeweled eggs.
The chrysoprase stone in this enchanting vintage ring is exquisitely cut. It is a uniform rich, deep, emerald green in color. When the ring is held up to a light, the gemstone is lusciously translucent, as well. Chrysoprase is also found in sea-green and apple green shades.
Chyrsoprase purportedly gives its wearer ability to realize unconscious desires. It supposedly encourages success in business. It is also believed to have great powers to heal the body and dissipate negative energy.
During the iconic Art Deco era of the 1920s, most of the world's chrysoprase came from the area now know as the Czech Republic and from Poland. Today, it is mainly mined in Australia but can also hail from Brazil, India, Germany, Poland, Russia, Africa and the United States. Australian mines yield rich, deep shades of green with desirable translucence and few inclusions. The chrysoprase from Australia is now the most coveted and is often mistaken for the most expensive jadeite.
Chrysoprase rings from the 1920s are becoming harder to find and therefore, more expensive. The sterling silver setting of this particular ring is one of the most ornate and beautiful settings I’ve ever seen. This ring is truly a vintage treasure! (I'm sorry ladies, it is no longer for sale. This jewelry writer has claimed it for her very own.)
Do you own a vintage chrysoprase ring or other piece of vintage jewelry that features this captivating gemstone? Please share it with us in the comments section.
Danielle Olivia Tefft is a professional writer with a lifelong passion for gems, jewelry and fashion. She is a GIA accredited jewelry professional and the owner of online antique and vintage jewelry shop, Treasure Box Antiques. Current projects include ghostwriting jewelry and fashion blogs for clients worldwide. When she is not writing, she spends time in the garden, spoiling her cats and traveling with her fiancé. Would you like to hire her? Visit her website danielleoliviatefftwrites.com for clips, terms and more information.
About This Blog:
The Found in the Jewelry Box Blog is my attempt to teach others about the wonderful world of gems and jewelry, past and present. Please enjoy!