Thursday, March 1, 2012

Rock Review: Diopside

As we enter March, we’ll review Diopside, the perfect companion for all the soon to emerge spring greens.
Geology Buzz
Diopside is a pyroxene mineral that is found in igneous and metamorphic rock deposits. It contains the elements Magnesium, Silicon, Oxygen and Calcium. It often is found in conjunction with Basalt, Olivine, Dolomite, Limestone, Marble and Andesite.
Gemstone quality versions of the mineral are usually called “Black Star Diopside or Chromium Diopside”. The presence of Chromium is responsible for the rich Kelly Green color (similar to an emerald) that is most often seen in jewelry. “Violane” is also a rare blue to violet color of Diopside that gets its tone from Manganese. White occurrences can fluoresce a bright powder blue color. Diopside registers between 5.6 and 6.5 on Moh’s scale of hardness.
Fun Facts
Discovered circa 1800, Diopside gets its name from the Greek language taking the words “dis” meaning two and “opse” meaning “face” to describe the two different ways it’s prisms can be oriented. Today, it is exported mainly from Russia, specifically from Siberia.
Diopside is a lesser known birthstone for the month of March and is also associated with the zodiac sign Pisces. It is believed to enhance creativity in problem solving, analytical abilities and achieving goals. It is also linked to love, commitment and the inner desires. It also is thought to be useful in healing the heart, lungs and circulatory system.
Diopside is fairly rare, however its price has still thankfully remained affordable. Chrome Diopside is usually available in smaller carat sizes since the gem usually appears darker as its size increases. Samples over 2 carats in size are much more rare and usually command a higher purchase price.

No comments:

Post a Comment