Diopside

Big Photo

Chrome-Diopside
Russia
0.89 carats
© gemselect.com

Diopside is named after Greek word for "double appearance" because of its crystal shape. It is one of the most common members of the Pyroxene Group.

Diopside has a number of gem-quality varieties, including intense green Chrome diopside and fine blue Violane. Black diopside exhbiiting asterism or the Star effect is known.

Usual weight of cut stones is 1 - 20 carats. Compact fine-grained varieties are used as jewelry-industrial stone.

Diopside Gemstones by Colour

This table shows the variety of hues this gemstone can be found in. Click on a photo for more information.
 
 
 
 
 

Diopside Gemstones by Size

This table shows distribution of Diopside gemstone sizes that are listed on this site. This can give a good indication as to the general availability of this gemstone in different sizes.
Contributed photos
Lightest:0.18 cts
Heaviest:21.22 cts
Average:1.48 cts
Total photos:51
Do you have a larger Diopside? Why not upload a photo?
0.18ct to 2.28ct2.28ct to 4.39ct4.39ct to 6.49ct6.49ct to 8.60ct8.60ct to 10.70ct10.70ct to 12.80ct12.80ct to 14.91ct14.91ct to 17.01ct17.01ct to 19.12ct19.12ct to 21.22ct
General Information
Varieties/Types:
Chrome-Diopside - A chrome-bearing green variety of diopside.
Lavrovite - A green vanadium-bearing variety of Diopside.
Violane - Violet-blue Manganese-bearing variety of diopside
Chemical Formula
CaMgSi
 
2
O
 
6
Michael O’Donoghue, Gems, Sixth Edition (2006)
More from other references
Photos of natural/un-cut material from mindat.org
Physical Properties of Diopside
Mohs Hardness5 to 6
Herve Nicolas Lazzarelli, Blue Chart Gem Identification (2010)
More from other references
Specific Gravity3.22 to 3.40
Herve Nicolas Lazzarelli, Blue Chart Gem Identification (2010)
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Cleavage QualityGood
Walter Schumann, Gemstones of the world (2001)
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FractureUneven
Walter Schumann, Gemstones of the world (2001)
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Optical Properties of Diopside
Refractive Index1.664 to 1.730
Herve Nicolas Lazzarelli, Blue Chart Gem Identification (2010)
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Optical CharacterBiaxial/+
Herve Nicolas Lazzarelli, Blue Chart Gem Identification (2010)
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Birefringence0.024 to 0.030
Herve Nicolas Lazzarelli, Blue Chart Gem Identification (2010)
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PleochroismCommon trichroism: light green - yellow green - dark green
Herve Nicolas Lazzarelli, Blue Chart Gem Identification (2010)
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Dispersion0.017 to 0.020
Walter Schumann, Gemstones of the world (2001)
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ChatoyancyBlack star: white sharp rays (commonly 4)
Herve Nicolas Lazzarelli, Blue Chart Gem Identification (2010)
Colour
Colour (General)Green, yellow, colourless, brown, black
Walter Schumann, Gemstones of the world (2001)
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Causes of ColourGreen (Chromian Diopside), Cr3+ in octahedral coordination; V3+ in octahedral coordination. Yellowish green, Fe2+ in octahedral coordination
W. William Hanneman, Pragmatic Spectroscopy For Gemologists (2011)
TransparencyTransparent,Translucent,Opaque
Ulrich Henn and Claudio C. Milisenda, Gemmological Tables (2004)
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LustreVitreous
Arthur Thomas, Gemstones (2009)
Fluorescence & other light emissions
Fluorescence (General)Violet, orange, yellow, green.
Walter Schumann, Gemstones of the world (2001)
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Fluorescence (Short Wave UV)No respond
Michael O’Donoghue, Gems, Sixth Edition (2006)
Fluorescence (Long-Wave UV)Some green specimens show green
Michael O’Donoghue, Gems, Sixth Edition (2006)
Fluorescence (X-RAY)Dull mustard-yellow glow
Michael O’Donoghue, Gems, Sixth Edition (2006)
Crystallography of Diopside
Crystal SystemMonoclinic
Herve Nicolas Lazzarelli, Blue Chart Gem Identification (2010)
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HabitPrismatic crystals with nearly square cross-section and twinning common
Michael O’Donoghue, Gems, Sixth Edition (2006)
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Geological Environment
Where found:Typical of metamorphosed siliceous Ca, Mg-rich rocks of the pyroxene-hornfels or epidote-amphibolite facies; common in skarns, Ca, Mg-rich gneisses and schists, and some kimberlites and peridotites. Less common in alkalic olivine basalts and andesites.
Anthony et al, Handbook of mineralogy (2001)
Inclusions in Diopside
Magnetite needles: may react to magnet - Blue Chart Gem Identification, Herve Nicolas Lazzarelli, 2010, p 4
Magnetite, healing cracks, liquid inclusions - Gemmological Tables, Ulrich Henn and Claudio C. Milisenda, 2004, p 19
Further Information
Mineral information:Diopside information at mindat.org
Significant Gem Localities
Italy
 
  • Aosta Valley
    • Saint-Marcel
[var: Violane] Gemstones of the world, W.Schumann, 2001, p.190
[var: Lavrovite]
Myanmar
 
  • Mandalay Region (Mandalay Division)
    • Pyin-Oo-Lwin District
      • Mogok Township
        • Bernardmyo
Ted Themelis (2008) Gems & mines of Mogok
        • Kyauk-Pyat-That
Ted Themelis (2008) Gems & mines of Mogok
        • Marble Ark
Ted Themelis (2008) Gems & mines of Mogok
Ted Themelis (2008) Gems & mines of Mogok
Ted Themelis (2008) Gems & mines of Mogok
Ted Themelis (2008) Gems & mines of Mogok
Ted Themelis (2008) Gems & mines of Mogok
Ted Themelis (2008) Gems & mines of Mogok
Ted Themelis (2008) Gems & mines of Mogok
Ted Themelis (2008) Gems & mines of Mogok
Ted Themelis (2008) Gems & mines of Mogok
Ted Themelis (2008) Gems & mines of Mogok
        • Mogok Valley
          • Dattaw-taung (Dattaw hill)
            • Dattaw-mid
Ted Themelis (2008) Gems & mines of Mogok
Ted Themelis (2008) Gems & mines of Mogok
Ted Themelis (2008) Gems & mines of Mogok
Ted Themelis (2008) Gems & mines of Mogok
Ted Themelis (2008) Gems & mines of Mogok
Ted Themelis (2008) Gems & mines of Mogok
        • Pein-Pyit (Painpyit; Pyan Pyit)
Ted Themelis (2008) Gems & mines of Mogok
Ted Themelis (2008) Gems & mines of Mogok
Russia
 
  • Eastern-Siberian Region
    • Prebaikalia (Pribaikal'e)
      • Irkutskaya Oblast'
        • Lake Baikal area
[var: Lavrovite]
    • Sakha Republic (Yakutia)
      • Aldan Shield
        • Aldan
          • Inagli Massif
[var: Chrome-Diopside] Gadiyatov (1996)
USA
 
  • New York
    • St. Lawrence Co.
      • De Kalb Township
Gems, Sixth Edition, Michael O’Donoghue, 2006, p. 405
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