I have cut and carved a bit of chrysoprase and how the quality is
judged is by the lovely strong and rich green apple color with a nice
translucency and no rubbish in it, i.e. bits of white which gives you
a pitted surface and not a nice polish, I am not sure of the
technical name for the inclusions but you can see it if you put a
strong light behind it.
It’s a favourite for carvers as it takes a lovely polish and is hard
enough to make elaborate shapes. The only problem is there is very
little quality material available even here in Australia as a Chinese
company owns the better producing mine in Marlborough, Queensland.
There is a mine is Western Australia that is producing but I think
the best quality is only found in small amounts, They carve a lot of
pretty tacky stuff with it in china and I think a lot of the better
quality it gets sold as imperial jade to unsuspecting buyers, I have
a lovely quality piece of it that I can send you an image of so you
get the idea of what color and translucency in quality chrysoprase
I will get around to carving something with it one day but its such
a nice piece that every time I get it out to play I am loath to touch
it and not be happy with the result.
I think New Era gems get rough sometimes but they are finding it
hard to get quality also. NO interest here just saw them in Tucson
years ago and they had some of the nicest rough I had ever seen and I
tried to buy it but the whole lot was bought in one go. That’s what
happens to good rough.
Happy New Year to all
Christine in the Ridge