Chrome Diopside - A fantastic green gemstone!
Chrome Diopside is not a well-known gemstone, but it is quite beautiful, and due to its green color, it is often mistaken to be an emerald. Although there are several deposits of this gemstone all over the world, the most renown is that found in Russia, in the Siberian republic of Sakha. Due to the extreme winters, which can go on for periods of up to 8 months, the mining of Chrome Diopside is very periodical. Chrome Diopside is usually used as a replacement for the costly Emerald or the Tsavorite Garnet. This is a rare stone, due to the periodic mining, and this is one of the reasons why it is not commonly known by gemstone aficionados. The main places where Chrome Diopside is mined, apart from Russia, are Austria, Australia, Italy, Canada, Finland, United States and South Africa.
A brief history of Chrome Diopside Gemstones
Today, there is an increasing interest in the new Green Jewel called Chrome Diopside. This is a stone that has many people wondering where it could have been hidden for all this time. There are many people who are running over each other in a scramble to try and buy this stone. Here is a brief history about this wonderful gemstone.
In 1988, the gemstone world was rocked by stories about a new stone that had been found in Russia, and everyone wanted to have a glimpse at it. The people who dealt in gemstones in Europe, paid glowing tribute to this gemstone, saying how it resembled the Tsavorite and Chrome Tourmaline. Another thing that astonished them is the fact that it was a low-priced gemstone, despite its wonderful luster. After the fall of the Berlin Wall, gemstone dealers from Europe began marketing Russian gemstones, and the rich for the Chrome Diopside started in earnest. Ever since, out of the gemstones that come out of Russia, Chrome Diopside was classified as a Class One export product, which placed it on the same classification as Alexandrite, Emeralds and Diamonds from the region.
Chrome Diopside is usually mined for three months in a year; during the months of July to August. The reason behind this is the fact that the Chrome Diopside mines are found close to the Kimberlite shafts in the Siberian Mountains. In this high range, and given the extremely cold temperatures of Siberia, even the toughest of miners can only work for a small period of time, before the extreme cold renders him exhausted. This is one of the toughest gemstones to mine.
The occurrence of Chrome Diopside
Chrome deposits are usually found in Metamorphic, Basic and Ultrabasic igneous rocks. Most of the world’s deposits can be found in a remote Easter Siberian region commonly known as Inagli, within the state of Sakha; this is an area that is also well known for the unique diamond deposits found here. Since Siberia has an extreme winter climate, there is very little green to be seen for most of the year; there are no plants so the vista is pale white. Nature, perhaps in an effort to balance this out, has given the area rich deposits of the exquisite green gemstone, called Chrome Diopside. It is these deposits that provide some green for the eye to admire for most parts of the year. This is a challenging landscape, and getting the green stone out of the ground is very hard.
It is said that this delightfully beautiful stone got a raw deal when it came to giving it a name. The name Chrome Diopside does not inspire thoughts of beauty and elegance. However, the name should not fool you because this is a stone that seems to have an intrinsic green glow. Actually, people prefer a lighter stone, since this is when the green sparkle is apparent. When you have a stone that is above 2 carats in weight, the green becomes so intense, that it almost looks like black.
As a substitute for green gemstones, none can surpass Chrome Diopside. This is a gemstone that closely resembles Emeralds and Tsavorites. Of all the green gemstones in the world, Chrome Diopside is the most affordable, with the cost coming to about 1 percent. Unlike other green stones, Chrome Diopside does not have to be treated for the green color to be displayed at its best. Other green gemstones are irradiated, heated or treated with oil, but there is no treatment done to Chrome Diopside.
The beautifully green Chrome Diopside has a high refractive index and this makes it disperse light very much, giving it a brilliant sparkle; it has a refractive index of about twice that of an Emerald. One of the odd things about this stone, is the fact that despite being rare, it is not as costly. In Siberia, the extreme temperatures restrict the period within which the gemstones can be mined; just three months. Siberian Chrome Diopside is the best in the world, and everybody wants it, but it is rare, due to the extreme mining conditions. When it comes to hardness, the stone has a value of 6 to 65 on the Mohs scale. Its characteristics make it quite suitable for jewelry.
The cutting of Chrome Diopside
Chrome Diopside has two planes, making it a very difficult stone to cut, and the jeweler has to be very careful when faceting the stone. Usually the stone is cut in round shapes such as oval or round. When it comes to faceting, the jeweler will lose up to 90 percent of the rough stone, due to the complexity of the process of cutting it.
Being a stone of the pyroxene mineral group, Chrome Diopside has a Prismatic Cleavage; this means that it has a cleavage with angles ranging from 87 to 93 degrees, and this makes it almost perpendicular. This type of cleavage is very difficult to facet, making the stone have a lot of loss in the cutting process.
In order to bring out the beautiful characteristics of Chrome Diopside, the cutter has to use a shallow angel when making the facets; this is especially crucial when cutting a large stone, which usually looks darker and will require the refractive characteristics of the stone to be maximized in the cutting process. The most popular cuts made on this gemstone are Round Cut, Octagon or Emerald Cut, Cushion Cut, Cabochon Cut and Oval Cut. You can also find the gemstone in Cabochon Cuts. Of all these cuts, the Round and Oval are the most popular. As mentioned earlier, there is a lot of loss on the rough stone, and the Round and Oval cuts ensure a better return on the rough. The demand for more exquisite cuts is still high, but these other cuts really lose a lot of the rough stone. A 10 carat finished stone, may require up to 100 carats of rough stone.
The larger stones will be dark, and this is why many people prefer to go for Chrome Diopside in smaller sizes, which have a vivid, spring-green color, and they display a lot of sparkly brilliance. When it comes to the purely green gemstones, it is the most affordable, and it is mainly used for rings, earrings and pendants.
The Myth behind Chrome Diopside
The name Diopside come from the Greek words, “Di”, which means two, and “Opsis”, which means vision. This is a stone which is said to inspire creativity in the wearer. This means that in order to realize creative goals, an individual had to wear this gemstone, which would bring creative visualization of the end goal. The ancient Greeks believed that by wearing the stone, an individual’s intellect was increased tremendously, especially when it came to being mathematical and analytical. The stone was also said to bring calm to the wearer, since it alleviated feeling of aggression; it is said to bring cohesion between lovers, leading to deeper commitment. It was a great stone to give to someone who was stubborn.
Chrome Diopside gemstone was also believed to set aside all forms of evil, and therefore was used as a healing stone. People who suffered from heart conditions, respiratory diseases and circulatory problems were believed to be cured when they put on jewelry having this stone; for those who suffered from nightmares, posttraumatic stress disorder and bad memories were also cured with this gemstone.
The green color of Chrome Diopside makes it the perfect gemstone to wear with anything. If you look at a garden, you will see flowers of very many colors, and they will all have green stems, and they all seem to blend very well; this is the reason why the stone goes with any type of clothing.
A little more about Chrome Diopside
Chrome Diopside is one of the naturally occurring, vividly green gemstones in the world. It has a lot of iron, and the colors may range from yellowish green, pale green to the green that you find in a dark bottle. The Black Star Diopside, is a popular version of the stone, and it is usually cut in cabochons which allow it to display Chatoyancy or Asterism. The version commonly known as Chrome Diopside has a vivid green color, and this is because it has a lot of chromium – hence the name Chrome. People only thought that this stone only occurs in the green version, but in Italy, a blue version was discovered, and it is now called the Violan.
Traditionally, Chrome Diopside has been the cheaper alternative to the green gemstones such as Tsavorite and Emeralds, but with the increase in demand, the prices are steadily rising. China is one of the biggest importers of Chrome Diopside, and this has greatly increased the demand; one the other hand, the supply of this gemstone is very low, leading to a marked spike in prices. It would be best to get jewelry of this stone quickly, since the prices seem to be on an upward spiral that will not flatten out soon. To make the price difference clearer, one buyer, had an emerald which she bought for 10,000 dollars, and a Chrome Diopside which she bought at about 100 dollars. Although she does not wear the emerald as much as she wears the Chrome Diopside, most of her friends cannot tell the difference between the two. This proves that this is a cheaper alternative for pricey green gemstones, and the time to get one is now.
Given that this is a stone that was discovered fairly recently, it is certainly one of the remarkably appreciated stones in the world. With this trend, the stone has a bright future in the world of jewelry. For those who appreciate this trend, getting one now will surely pay off in the coming future. You can find these stones in jewelry stores all over the world.