Lemon Chrysoprase

  "I've just bought a strand (well several actually) of lemon
yellow chrysoprase beads. Some are lenticular and others round.
Amongst the gurus here does anyone know where this material comes
from. I'm told that it's "African". 

Hi Tony, I don’t see chrysoprase described in that exact color. It
could be a variety of chalcedony called carnelian, which ranges from
translucent yellow orange to orangy red. If that were the case, it is
most likely from Brazil, India, or Uruguay.

If it looks semitransparent (almost see-through) to translucent (more
milky) and has a color light to medium yellowish green, then it is
the variety of chalcedony that is called chrysoprase, and can be from
Australia, India, Czechoslovakia, and the US.

However, chalcedony comes in no less than 20 different varieties (two
mentioned above), the variety depending on color and appearance
variations. The two I’ve mentioned are the two varieties closest to
the color you mentioned. There are no sources listed from Africa.
So if the beads came from Africa truly, then either they have found a
new source for chalcedony or the beads were not really from Africa.

Susan Borgo Alby, GG
Samba Custom Design
Burlington, WI, USA

Thanks for your replies. I’m a qualified gemmologist and know the
difference between chrysoprase and chalcedony but this stuff isn’t
like either in that it isn’t translucent.

Without instruments I can’t tell the RI or hardness but the color is
vaguely acid green/yellow/lemon. It comes from a German supplier.

Any further info anyone?

Tony Konrath
Gold and Stone

Dear Tony, I have a pound or so of material like this described. The
material is primarily opaque, faintly translucent around the thinner
edges,the color is an aggressive green tone over a yellow to "
butterscotch yellow color " There are a few greener veins where small
fractures have been filled. I was sold this as " Butterscotch
Chrysophrase " and told that it is African in origin. It is pretty
stuff, but I gave 1/5 the price of good Australian Chrysophrase for
it. I have Australian Chrysophrase and the color is electric and
distinctly different.

ROBB - Retired Old Baby Boomer

Tony & All, I purchased a 100+lb lot of chrysophrase from an
Australian dealer. Some of it is just as you described. I have not
cut any of it yet so I have no further observations. My guess is
that this material is considered low grade at the mines and not
usually marketed.

Gerry Galarneau

Hi Charles, There is a source in southern Africa. It is located near
the Orange River on the Namibian side. The mine owner lives in South
Africa and commutes daily to his mining site. He approached me at
Tucson this past February to see if my firm was interested in cutting
the material for him. His main focus, however, is translucent blue
Chalcedony. Hope you find this helpful. Roger Dery GemDigital@cs.com