- 1. Diopside
- 2. The History and Meaning of Diopside
- 3. Physicochemical Properties of Diopside
- 4. Varieties of Diopside
- 5. Diopside Healing Properties
- 6. Diopside Metaphysical Properties
- 7. Diopside for Sale
Diopside, romantically called Siberian Emerald, is an affordable alternative to gemstones of vibrant green colors. You shouldn’t consider it as a cheap substitute though. It is a gorgeous semi-precious stone in its own right and its metaphysical and healing properties are the envy of the entire world of minerals.
History and Meaning of Diopside
The name diopside is of Greek origin and consists of two words: ‘dis’ for double and ‘opse’ meaning face. The stone was dubbed ‘two-faced’ for a reason – the range of its colors is extensive and varied.
The mineral has an alternative name malakolite, which means ‘soft’ and indicates its mediocre hardness. Simultaneously, the same name refers to the place where the specimens of the stone were found for the first time - the Ala River in Italy.
The green mineral was first mentioned in 1806 in the "Journal de Physique" in an article by the French mineralogist Hayuy. However, gem-quality examples were not found until 1968, and official trade began only in 1988 (although the stone has been on the market long before that illegally).
Today, diopside is mined mainly in Eastern Siberia, in the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia). From the very beginning, green stones command interest as an affordable alternative to emerald. They were even advertised as Yakut emeralds in the 1990s. In 2013, the largest diopside deposit was discovered in Tanzania.
Physicochemical Properties of Diopside
Diopside is a mineral of the monoclinic pyroxene group. In its pure form, diopside is colorless and consists of silicon oxide, magnesium, and calcium. Along with that, specimens feature a wide range of inclusions - manganese, iron, vanadium, zinc, aluminum, titanium, sodium, potassium, etc. - which give them beautiful colors and patterns.
Diopside is not the hardest (it scores 5.5-6.0 on the Mohs scale) or strongest of all gemstones. The density of specimens grows as the content of iron or chromium in their chemical composition increases.
Pure diopside doesn’t feature pleochroism but specimens with a fibrous structure have it. Depending on the viewing angle, the color of a stone changes from yellow-green to emerald and from pale green to brownish. Stones that contain tubular inclusions boast a charming optical effect of chatoyancy otherwise known as cat's eye. Star-shaped diopside has magnetite in its composition, due to which it exhibits asterism - if you direct a beam of light at such a stone, you can see a shimmering four-pointed star. Polished diopsides offer a slightly muted glassy luster.
Varieties of Diopside
As we have already noted, diopside is a multi-faceted stone due to its wide range of colors and optical effects. The stone indeed has a huge number of varieties, most of which received their own names.
• Black Star is a dark opaque variety of the mineral featuring multiple needle-like silvery or golden inclusions. When such stones are fashioned into cabochons, they show off a shimmering 4-beam star. As a rule, one of the rays is straight and the other is curvy. Black Star is one of the most expensive types of diopside;
• Chrome diopside is another sought-after type of diopside otherwise called Siberian emerald. Indeed, rich in chrome admixtures, these specimens offer a vibrant emerald-like green color;
• Lavrovite is vanadium-bearing diopside of apple-green or herbal hues;
• Salite is an opaque yellow-green type of diopside rich in iron;
• Anthochroite is a delicate pink stone that owes its color to the inclusions of manganese;
• Shefferite is a variety of red-brown diopside featuring a high content of manganese;
• Malacolite encompasses translucent white or pale green specimens, sometimes with fluorescent properties;
• Violane is a mineral of violet, purple-violet, or gray-blue colors bearing admixtures of manganese and iron. It has a grainy pattern similar to marble.
• Baikalite is a blue variety of diopside found on the banks of Lake Baikal.
Diopside Healing Properties
Diopside has long established itself as an effective stimulant of the cardiovascular system. Lithotherapists claim that diopside therapy is able to prevent the occurrence of such diseases as angina pectoris, myocardial infarction, thrombophlebitis, and atherosclerosis.
The metal of a setting enhances the healing effect of the mineral. Diopside set in silver combats viral diseases as well as diseases of the respiratory system - SARS, flu, bronchitis, tuberculosis, and even lung cancer. To benefit from these medicinal properties of the stone, you should wear it on the right side of the body as a ring or bracelet.
Diopside set in gold improves the functioning of the digestive system. These pieces of jewelry of amulets ought to be worn on the right hand or wrist.
The power of diopside is capable of alleviating the symptoms of mental disorders and depression. Hold the stone in your hands to curb outbursts of anger and anxiety. After a few minutes of exposure to its vibrations, you will become calmer and more confident. It will also improve your mood and strengthen morale.
Diopside Metaphysical Properties
The stone is endowed with an amazing ability to purge the human aura from negative accumulations and fill the vacant voids with positive energy. To perform energy cleansing, you should place a rough stone in the third eye area for several minutes. Such a session helps clear consciousness, boosts cognition, and restores the balance of energy.
People with magical or supernatural abilities use diopside to read signs coming from higher powers. A ring featuring the mineral and worn on the left hand helps control the minds of other people. In particular, it is able to win favor and liking. That being said, it is impossible to use the stone for unseemly purposes. Diopside does not tolerate deception; therefore, it is willing to reveal the dishonest motives of people involved in scams and fraud.
Diopside talismans patronize doctors, teachers, lawyers, and esotericists. They are also of great use for purposeful individuals who seek rapid career growth. The gem attracts wealth and helps in making difficult decisions.
Diopside for Sale by Kenkengems
KenKenGems is a trustworthy supplier of diopside stones for collectors and DIY jewelry enthusiasts. We are happy to offer:
- chrome diopside beads, strands, and half strands;
- loose stones as well as sets of 2, 3, 4, and 5 stones;
- beautiful pendants set in gold and silver.
Our pride and joy (and hopefully, yours, too) are Black Star diopsides – we fashion them into gorgeous pendants and strands. Find your lucky star with our affordable collection of Russian gemstones.