One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1An apple-green gemstone consisting of a variety of chalcedony that contains nickel.
- ‘In their day, pieces were decorated with enamels or semi-precious stones, and the jewellery adorned by amethysts, chrysoprase and moonstones and more - chosen for their artistic merits rather than value.’
- ‘It is set with three bunches of grapes made from carved chrysoprase.’
- ‘One mermaid stretches her hand to a lotus flower while the other holds a bud, set with a chrysoprase, which forms the clasp.’
- ‘Bright green chrysoprase is very expensive, while Russian amber is so expensive, it's paid for by the gram.’
- 1.1 (in the New Testament) a golden-green precious stone, perhaps a variety of beryl.
Middle English (denoting a precious stone in the New Testament): from Old French crisopace, via Latin from Greek khrusoprasos, from khrusos ‘gold’ + prason ‘leek’.
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