Prehnite: Muted Green Gemstone
Prehnite is a yellow-green gemstone that despite its relative rarity is still quite cheap. It is also known under the name ‘Grape Jade’. As it can often be found in crystal shapes that resemble stacked grapes as can be seen at the bottom of this article.
Prehnite, despite heavy competition from more popular green gemstones, still has its place in the world of gemstones. Mostly because of its low price and muted green look that a growing number of people appreciate.
What is Prehnite?
Prehnite is a silicate mineral that is mostly found in aggregates that show no large crystal faces. Its color is usually green to yellow, though brown is not uncommon either.
Well-developed crystals are quite rare and most prehnite gemstones found on the market today are not faceted but cut en cabochon.
Despite its good hardness of 6 to 6.5 on Mohs hardness scale it can be quite brittle because of the way the crystal has formed. The first time it was described was in 1789 in Haslach in Germany.
It was named after the Dutch Colonel Hendrik von Prehn (1733-1785), which is the first time a gemstone was named after a person. The first time that can be verified at least.
Prehnite was and still is quite common, however high quality prehnite that could be used in prehnite jewelry was considered very rare for a long time. Until in the 1980s large deposits of high quality prehnite was discovered in Australia, mostly in the central parts of the Northern Territory.
Prehnite Meaning and Prehnite Healing Properties
For those who believe in the power of stones and crystals prehnite stones offer several benefits.
Prehnite is known as the stone of unconditional love and gives you a higher level of insight.
Allowing you to see truths you would otherwise be blind to. Prehnite healing properties are used for various conditions involving the kidneys and bladder.
Taking Care of Your Prehnite Gemstones
As mentioned in earlier articles despite the good hardness of prehnite it is fairly brittle.
So here are a few tips to keep your gemstone in good shape:
- Avoid physical work while wearing prehnite jewelry, sharp blows can chip or even shatter it.
- Clean it with warm water and soap, a mild diluted detergent can be used as well if just soap is not enough. Make sure to dry it well with a soft towel before storing it.
- Store it in a separate compartment, most faceted gemstones and some metals can scratch prehnite.
- I would avoid using a steam jewelry cleaner. An ultrasonic jewelry cleaner can be used, but if there are inclusions in the gemstone that contain water it could be damaged. So in general my advice is to stick to regular cleaning.
Prehnite Buying Guide
Most of the material that is found on the market today has been made into prehnite beads. These should be fairly cheap and imitations are not common. Still it doesn’t hurt to stick to a dealer with a good reputation for the higher service.
Prehnite that is used in jewelry is rarely treated or imitated. In fact prehnite is used to imitate other gemstones such as jadeite and garnets.
However the usual glass and treated or dyed quartz are being sold as genuine gemstones. While in person they are usually easy to spot, when you buy them online it will be close to impossible.
Good quality loose prehnite usually sells for between $5-$8 per carat. Be aware that many gemstone shops will be selling faceted prehnite that is just faceted to be able to ask a higher price. The quality and looks are not improved, so only buy these if you like the look of a faceted gemstone more than that of a cabochon.
True high quality faceted prehnite is extremely hard to find on the market today. Despite the large number of listings on Ebay and the likes that claim otherwise.
Only buy it from a dealer you trust and preferably one where you can take a look in person or one that has a no questions asked return policy.
Prehnite jewelry can be found in a reasonable variety, though most of it is focused on beads or combined with other gemstones for contrast. It is probably best to purchase a prehnite pendant or necklace and not a prehnite ring. The former are less likely to be scratched or dropped in daily use.