Chromodiopside. It is one of the least known gemstones; It has only been in the gem world for a short time but is increasingly valued due to its intense green color, excellent clarity and price; in fact, it is the most affordable green stone, and rivals chrome tourmaline and tsavorite . Its color darkens as the size of the stone increases; the most desirable color is found in gems less than two carats; in sizes over three carats green can be very dark, to almost black .
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- 1 Physical and chemical properties
- 2 Gemology
- 3 Care
- 4 Myth and legend
- 5 Deposits
- 6 Sources
Physical and chemical properties
Chromodiopside is one of the rarest varieties of diopside. It is aluminum and magnesium silicate that contains chromium ; the presence of this mineral gives it its attractive green color. It has a hardness of between 5 and 6 on the Mosh scale, similar to opal or tanzanite . Its density is between 3.3 and 3.6.
- Species: Diopside
- Color: green, yellow , colorless, brown , black.
- Chemical composition: CaMgSi2O6, calcium magnesium silicate
- Crystal system: Monoclinic; columnar crystals.
- Hardness: 5-6 (Mohs scale).
- Specific gravity: 3.22 to 3.38.
- Refractive index: 1,664 to 1,730.
- Birefringence: 0.024 to 0.031.
- Stripe Color: White .
- Absorption spectrum: 505, 493, 446; Chromodiopside: 690, 670, 655, 635, 508, 505, 490.
- Fluorescence: violet , orange , yellow and green.
It is a relatively soft stone that is not usually used in rings or bracelets but with which extraordinary earrings or brooches are made. Care should be taken when using it and it should be kept wrapped in a soft cloth to prevent other gems from scratching it. As with most other gems, ultrasonic and steam cleaning should be avoided; Neither should chemicals or abrasive cleaners such as bleach or sulfuric acid be used. Only mild soap, warm water, and a cloth should be used. Chromodiopside does not have any type of treatment, unlike many other gems that are heat treated or irradiated to improve its color.
Myth and legend
In ancient times, some people believed that the diopside had fallen from the tree of life, and therefore the dead should be buried with a diopside to ensure the renewal of life. In some cultures the green diopside was associated with peace and quiet and was placed on the forehead before resting, in order to ensure sweet dreams.
The most important deposit is in the Republic of Saja, previously known as Yakutia Siberia and can only be exploited for 4 months a year due to extreme winters. Other deposits are found in Germany , Austria , Finland , India , Madagascar , Myanmar , South Africa , Sri Lanka, and the United States .