What is Chrysocolla
Chrysocolla is a stone whose popularity can be traced back to antiquity. It has been used for ages by different people as means to varying ends. Most of them are notable individuals in the society, including royalty, nobles and dignified soldiers. In ancient history, it is believed that the stone’s name derived from the Greek words ‘chrysos,’ which means gold, and ‘kolla,’ which means glue. It was first used by a Greek philosopher named Theophrastus to refer to its use as a soldering flux, which acts as a bonding agent of impurities found in molten metals. In fact, the stone was popularly used by goldsmiths in the old age to bond gold pieces together. Through time, the stone’s uses have also evolved to cover much broader aspects, and one which has undergone the most significant and conspicuous innovation is in the gem market and jewelry making industry.
Chrysocolla Physical Properties
There are a few identifying characteristics that set Chrysocolla apart from other gemstones. Chrysocolla is a hydrated copper gemstone with saturations that cover gradients of green to blue. However, in some cases, this stone can also exhibit other colors including brown, blackish blue to black, and yellow (in much rarer cases). When one is to look at the stone with bare eyes, it would interestingly look like a dainty reminiscent of the earth from afar, particularly a view from space. Usually with dainty yellow green, white or blue green streaks, Chrysocolla is characterized by an orthorhombic crystal system, and can present itself with nodular, botryoidal and massive crystal habits. The stone usually has earthy to dull, or vitreous to waxy luster. Chrysocolla specimens are translucent to opaque, and cleavage is not one the features the stone is identified by.
The best quality and highly sought-after Chrysocolla specimens exhibit color that are closely similar to that of a Turquoise stone, but they are quite rare and hard to find.
In its purest form, Chrysocolla is a fragile and soft stone. It has Mohs hardness scores that play just around 2 to 4, and is relatively light, with gravity scores running from 2 to 2.3. This characteristic of the stone makes it quite controversial as it somehow leaves any gem enthusiast wondering why it is still popular in the jewelry industry amid its relatively brittle tenacity. The answer to this is technology. Through time, gem dealers and jewelry makers have developed techniques to mitigate the stone’s friability and make it durably conducive for making varieties of jewelry pieces including necklaces, pendants, bracelets, rings and others. Such techniques include agatizing the stone in chalcedony quartz. The combination of Chrysocolla’s unique whirls and chalcedony’s beautiful sparkles makes a stunning jewelry piece.
Although not as famous as other gemstones, Chrysocolla has steadily created sparks of interest among modern gem and jewelry makers and collectors alike. This can be considerably attributed to the stone’s beautiful and intricate patterns that go perfectly well with its natural splendid colors.
Notable Geographical Sources of Chrysocolla
Geographically, there have been a few places reported to have significant deposits of Chrysocolla around the world. These include the southwestern USA - like Pennsylvania, Arizona, New Mexico and Utah - England, Congo (Zaire), Russia, Chile, France, Israel, Peru and Australia. Basically, Chrysocolla is most likely found in arid regions where there are high deposits of copper. One of the most popular varieties of Chrysocolla, called the ‘Drusy Chrysocolla,’ is found in Peru. This variety is famous for the sparkling drusy quartz crystals that cover the (Chrysocolla) stone in a magnificent appearance.
Uses of Chrysocolla in Jewelry-Making
Most Chrysocolla stones that are used in making jewelry pieces are combined with other minerals to attain the desirable level of durability that is conducive for making different jewelry-making materials like cabochons, beads, pendants, loose stones and the like. These minerals, that are responsible in the formation of several Chrysocolla varieties, include quartz, malachite, chalcedony and turquoise, whose presence results in the varying patterns and color plays of the Chrysocolla stone. All of them, however, bring nothing but outcomes that are purely exquisite.
The famous varieties of Chrysocolla include Stellarite, Parrot Wing, Eilat Stone and Gem Silica. Stellarite is the other name for Chrysocolla Quartz, which is made from Chrysocolla and Quartz. Parrot Wing is the effect of the mixture of Chrysocolla and Jasper, and has a greenish brown saturation. The Eilat Stone is a famous variety of Chrysocolla known for its close resemblance to Turquoise. It has naturally added Turquoise and Malachite that contribute to the greenish blue color of the stone. The last variety, Gem Silica, or sometimes referred to as Chrysocolla Chalcedony, is actually a variety of chalcedony whose name is derived from its greenish blue color that looks like a Chrysocolla. It is a very rare gem and is traded valuably in the gem market as it is one of the most coveted gems by collectors and designers.
Because of Chrysocolla’s intricate patterns that go perfectly with its color presentations, the stone can be used alongside other gemstones of complementary colors to create fashionable jewelry pieces. Jewelries made from Chrysocolla stones can be used to accentuate women in different occasions, but its beauty can be appreciated the most in either vintage or coachella-themed events because of its color combination. The stone would also look dainty when used with sterling silver and other metallic cords.
Aside from its natural physical beauty, Chrysocolla stones are desired by many for its good metaphysical properties.
Stone of Harmony. Experts say that Chrysocolla is a stone that promotes harmony. Aside from its innately soothing (greenish blue) color, the stone also has the ability to release away any negative energy and anxiety, thus calming the heart and mind of its wearer. If a Chrysocolla is placed inside a house or an establishment, it amplifies positive energy and calmness to everyone within it. In addition, the stone’s ability to help violent people become more patient and sensitive contributes to the forwarding of harmony. This is the reason why, as it has been said by experts, the famous Cleopatra always wore Chrysocolla embellishments during her time as an ambassador.
Stone of Hope. Like its greenish blue color (that is usually associated with prosperity), Chrysocolla is known to be a stone of hope. Its energy promotes growth of one’s entire well-being. The stone’s ability to guide and enable its wearer to come up with sound and beneficial decisions is what someone who wants to have a hope for the future should have. The stone has the ability to enhance one’s intuition and overall mindset, which makes him/her reach wise resolutions and compromises. In addition, Chrysocolla also has the ability to pass on knowledge from one generation to another, and ensures such knowledge or craft is being continuously used for the good of everyone.
Stone of Love and Forgiveness. The Chrysocolla stone is also believed to be a stone of unconditional love and forgiveness. It cleanses one’s heart and mind, therefore giving way for reconciliation. It releases anger, and replaces it with love and peace. It purifies its wearer from any emotional burden, and brings back the balance within him/herself.
Stone of Communication. It is also believed that Chrysocolla also promotes good communication, and enables its wearer to communicate and express his/her thoughts with clarity. This is what makes this stone perfect for students, teachers, and anyone whose primary nature of work involves communication.
Chrysocolla Healing Properties
Chrysocolla is also linked to the (physical) body, as it is linked to the spiritual realm. In fact, this stone is reported to have several physical healing benefits.
For one, this stone helps alleviate illnesses and concerns relating to the nervous system; depression, anxiety and hyperkinetic movement are among those that this stone corrects and heals.
This stone is also good for treating illnesses and problems related to the lungs, back and stomach.
Aside from this, Chrysocolla also helps in the regulation of the adrenal and thyroid gland, and is also an excellent remedy for throat-related problems including laryngitis, coughs, and sore throat to name a few.
Other (health) problems that this stone also aids include arthritis, painful joints and rheumatism, high blood pressure,digestion, muscle cramps, fever, diabetes, digestion and blood-related problems.
Although most Chrysocolla stones that are sold in the market have already been mixed with other minerals to make it stronger and more durable, lest it be forgotten that this stone is still sensitive to abrasion; which is why it is imperative that it should be properly taken care of so that its use lasts long and is maximized.
One of the common ways in taking care of any gemstone is avoiding prolonged exposure to excessive heat - and this is also true to Chrysocolla stones. Such can cause permanent damage to the stone. It is, therefore, best to clean it with warm soapy water using a soft cloth. As much as possible, avoid getting the stone in close contact with household chemicals and ultrasonic cleaners as well.
Another is to avoid getting near or in contact with sharp or rough edges, or anything that might cause impact and scratches to your Chrysocolla-made jewelry pieces. Although transparent resin could be used for added protection, it is still strongly advised to avoid getting into situations that might damage your Chrysocolla stones.
Like other gemstones, Chrysocolla is truly a stunner; but you won’t get to enjoy its beauty when you don’t do something to preserve it.
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