Thursday, April 14, 2011

Gemstone of the Week: Chrysocolla

("Callidora" by Handmaden Designs)

Chrysocolla is a blue to blue-greenstone often mistaken for Turquoise.   There are a couple different varieties of Chrysocolla.  One, known as Eliat stone, is a combination of Chrysocolla, Turquoise, Azurite, and Malachite.  There is also a variety called Parrot Wing which is Chrysocolla and Jasper.  It gets its beautiful colour because it is a copper based stone. 

There is another variety of Chrysocolla called Chrysocolla Quartz which is a Chalcedony with some Chrysocolla content and sells for about $10-$30 a carat.  There is also Chrysocolla gem Silica wich is much more valuable and is an even-coloured, very translucent Chrysocolla Quartz selling for $50-$300 a carat. (Some of the best can be found in Arizona.)
Informational Sources:

Newman GG, Renee. Gemstone Buying Guide. Los Angeles: International Jewelry Publications, 2005
"Chrysocolla Gemstone Properties." Fire Mountain Gems.

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