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Prasiolite crystals

Prasiolite is a green form of quartz, one of several quartz varieties. The name is derived from Greek PRASON meaning "leek" and LITHOS meaning "stone." So, "prasiolite" literally means "scallion green-colored stone." The mineral was given its name due to its green-colored appearance.

Green quartz is sometimes incorrectly called green amethyst, which is an actual misnomer and not an acceptable name for the material, the proper terminology being "prasiolite." Other names for green quartz are vermarine, greened amethyst, or lime citrine.

18 kt. gold ring set with an emerald-cut prasiolite
click to enlarge

It is a rare stone in nature. Most prasiolite sold is used in jewellery settings. Prasiolite is heat treated amethyst. Most amethyst will turn yellow or orange when heated producing citrine, but some amethyst will turn green when treated. Currently most all prasiolite on the market results from a combination of heat treatment and ionizing radiation.

Since 1950, almost all natural prasiolite has come from a small Brazilian mine, but it is also seen in Lower Silesia in Poland. Naturally occurring prasiolite is also found in the Thunder Bay area of Canada.

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