|DIOPSIDE MINERAL FACTS|
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Diopside Mineral Facts:
white to light green.
Hardness: 5.5 to 6.5
Cleavage: Prismatic cleavage sometimes good, often interrupted. Sometimes basal parting observed.
Luster:. Vitreous luster. The lighter varieties tend to be more transparent or translucent, while the darker ones are opaque.
Optics: (Refractive Index) a = 1.6685, b=1.6755, y=1.6980.
Structure and Associated Minerals:
Diopside is found in ultramafic igneous rocks such as kimberlite and peridotite. Diopside-rich augite is common in mafic rocks, such as olivine basalt and andesite. Diopside is sometimes found in syenites and similar rocks. Diopside is also found in a variety of metamorphic rocks, such as in contact metamorphosed skarns developed from high silica dolomites and in impure recrystallized dolomite rich limestones.
variety known as chrome diopside, possesses a bright emerald green color
because it contains from one to several per cent Cr2O3. Chrome diopside is a
common constituent of peridotite xenoliths, and dispersed grains are found
near kimberlite pipes. This makes chrome diopside an important indicator in
diamond deposits. Occurrences are reported in Canada, South Africa,
Russia, Brazil (not coincidently all of these countries are important
diamond producers) as well as a wide variety of other locations. Chrome
diopside also serves as a gemstone.
Identification and Diagnostics
Localities and Origins:
Clear green and chrome colored diopside is occasionally used as a gem material. A black form of diopside mined in India also yields a four ray star cabochon. The black star diopside is an inexpensive genuine gemstone and is sometimes seen in jewelry stores. It is an inexpensive alternative to the six rayed black star sapphire. The other highly valued gem form is chrome diopside, a beautiful emerald green transparent stone that is faceted into bright and attractive gems. The finest gem quality Russian chrome diopside comes from mines are found near kimberlite diamond mine shafts in the mountains of Siberia. Some of the DeKalb, New York diopside crystals, while not chrome bearing, are used to cut gems.
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Please note that the author, Chris Ralph, retains all copyrights to this entire document and it may not be reproduced, quoted or copied without permission.
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