Diopside Gemstone: Properties, Meanings, Value & More

diopside gemstone

Diopside is a beautiful gemstone known for its brilliant hues and powerful healing properties.

Is diopside rare or common? Diopside is fairly common, but some varieties are extremely rare and valuable.

In today’s article, we’re taking a closer look at diopside and exploring its properties, history, symbolism, pricing, and more. Let’s jump right in!

diopside gemstone

About Diopside Stone

The word ‘diopside’ derives from the Greek words dis (δις) for ‘double’ or ‘twice’ and opsis (όψις) for ‘view,’ alluding to its prism’s two possible orientations.

If you've ever asked, "what is a Russian emerald called?" it might surprise you to learn that the term refers to both green tourmaline and chrome diopside. This is thanks to their similar green hues and shared association with Russia.

Also known as chrome diopside, Russian diopside is rarer than other diopsides — but more on that later.

Besides “Russian Emerald,” what is another name for diopside? The gem has quite a few nicknames:

  • The Fortune Stone

  • Stone of Mother Earth

  • Stone of Service

  • Stone of the Earth

While it’s not a traditional birthstone, this gem is a supportive zodiac stone for astrology's Pisces, Virgo, and Gemini signs.

You can also swap pricy emeralds for more affordable chrome diopside to celebrate a 20th or 35th wedding anniversary.

But how do you identify diopside from other gems? Its mineral traits will tell you everything you need to know.

Diopside Specifications & Characteristics

So, what kind of gem is diopside?

Diopside is a member of the pyroxene mineral family, occurring in various colors ranging from pale to vibrant bluish-greens, yellows, and purples and colorless.

Here’s an overview of diopside’s mineral traits:

  • Chemical formula: CaMg(Si2O6)

  • Composition: Calcium - Magnesium - Silicon - Oxygen

  • Mohs hardness: 5 to 6

  • Color: Blue, brown, green, gray, yellow, colorless

  • Crystal structure: Monoclinic

  • Luster: Vitreous (glassy)

  • Transparency: Transparent to translucent

  • Refractive index: 1.66 to 1.73

  • Density: 3.25 to 3.55

  • Cleavage: Good/Indistinct

  • Fracture: Irregular - Conchoidal

  • Tenacity: Brittle

  • Streak: Greenish-white

  • Luminescence: Sometimes fluorescent (reddish-purple)

  • Pleochroism: Moderate (Pale to dark bluish-green)

What are the different types of diopside? There are quite a few!

black star diopside gemstone cabochonPictured above: Black star diopside cabochon

Types of Diopside

Diopside is a semi-precious gemstone that occurs in many variations, including:

Black Star Diopside

Black star or star diopside is a black to dark green variety exhibiting asterism (a four-rayed star pattern) when cut into a cabochon.

Chrome Diopside

This is an emerald-green chromium-bearing variety of diopside. Chrome diopside is valuable because of its dramatic color, pleochroism, and fluorescence.

Diallage

Diallage is a greenish-gray to brownish-black variety of diopside.

Lavrovite

Not to be confused with laverovite, lavrovite is a green vanadium-bearing variety of diopside.

Salite

Salite is a colorless to light green iron-bearing variety of diopside.

We know how diopside got its name, but who named it?

chrome diopside gemstone pendant

Diopside Meaning & History

Brazilian naturalist Jose Bonifacio de Andrada e Silva discovered diopside in the 1800s. It was later named by french mineralogist René Just Haüy, dubbed the father of crystallography.

The stone, particularly chrome diopside, emerged in popularity after the fall of the Berlin Wall in the 1980s. Russia began exporting chrome diopside around the world. Diopside’s cost and accessibility made it a popular alternative to other green gems like emerald, tsavorite, and peridot.

One ancient legend claims that diopside came from the “Tree of Life.” Therefore, it imbued powerful life-giving energy. These cultures would bury their dead with diopside inside the coffin to ensure a new life cycle.

Metaphysically, what does diopside crystal mean?

chrome diopside gemstone cabochon spheres

Diopside Healing Properties

For centuries, people have harnessed crystals’ energies to use as healing stones to enhance different wellness aspects.

Diopside is especially powerful, supporting your mind, body, and spirit.

Physically, what is diopside good for?

Physical Healing

Crystal healers believe diopside is a powerhouse of physical healing, especially regarding blood health.

Many claim that diopside crystals:

  • Support blood cell function and regulation

  • Regulate blood coagulation

  • Balance hormonal production

  • Support calcium restoration

  • Diminish muscular spasms and cramps

Emotional Healing

Emotionally, diopside’s soothing energy helps you feel centered and grounded.

Many consider diopside an “emotional trauma eraser,” enabling you to release emotional blockages and receive feelings of forgiveness, compassion, and love.

Spiritual Healing

Spiritually, what is the power of diopside? According to crystal healers, diopside’s energy facilitates understanding, communication, and empathy with ourselves and other life forms.

Diopside is also a chakra stone for the heart (or Anahata) chakra. This is your hub of love, compassion, and emotional balance. Diopside unblocks a closed heart chakra and promotes love, trust, and emotional expression.

Is diopside expensive? It depends!

chrome diopside gemstone faceted

Diopside Gemstone Properties

Experts determine gems' quality, rarity, and value by evaluating color, cut, clarity, and carat weight.

Diopside is graded with the same criteria.

Color

Firstly, what color is diopside? Diopside occurs in various colors, including green, brown, white, gray, and black. Sometimes, it’s even pleochroic, meaning different colors appear when you view the gem from various angles.

Vibrant, saturated gems garner more value and demand because they’re rarer and more visually appealing.

High brilliance and optical phenomena (as seen in star diopside and chrome diopside) add to the stone’s uniqueness and beauty. In turn, making it more desirable and increasing value.

Cut

Diopside can be faceted into various gemstone shapes and styles. It takes a skilled lapidary to do so in a way that exhibits maximum brilliance and color. Therefore, faceted diopside fetches higher prices.

Some diopside is cut in cabochon, meaning it has a smooth, rounded surface. While generally less expensive, their cost varies depending on the variety. For instance, star diopside is cut in cabochon to display its asterism and may cost more than faceted diopside.

You’ll also find plenty of rough specimens on the market. Rough diopside is typically more affordable than faceted gems, but size, color, and quality can impact price.

orange diopside gemstones faceted

Clarity

Typically, a higher level of clarity, with little to no visible inclusions, is more desirable and therefore commands a higher price.

However, some types of inclusions (like "horsetail" inclusions in chrome diopside) can increase the value and desirability of the gem.

Carat Weight

You’ll typically find diopside gems ranging between 1 and 10 carats, with stones above 10 carats being rare.

You might think larger stones are worth more than smaller ones, but that’s not always true.

While larger gems are scarce and highly prized, smaller gems with exceptional color and clarity can still be more valuable.

So how does diopside form, in the first place?

chrome diopside rough specimens

Diopside Formation & Sources

Diopside is a mineral that forms through metamorphic and igneous processes.

Metamorphic diopside typically forms from the transformation of calcium-rich sediments or rocks under high pressure and temperature deep inside Earth’s crust.

Igneous diopside, on the other hand, forms from crystallized molten rock, typically in the presence of calcium and magnesium-rich minerals.

Geographically, where is diopside found?

Mining Locations

Many associate diopside with Russia, but this gem is mined worldwide.

Other notable localities include:

  • Austria

  • Brazil

  • Canada

  • Italy

  • Myanmar

  • Madagascar

  • Pakistan

  • Russia

  • United States

Ready to shop? Let’s discuss what the price of diopside gemstone is.

chrome diopside gemstone ring flower design

Diopside Price & Value

Diopside is considered a fairly affordable gem in comparison to more popular ones on the market. However, prices can fluctuate according to size and quality.

Here’s a glance at what you can expect to spend:

  • Faceted: a few dollars per carat for lower-quality stones to approximately $100 per carat for high-quality stones

  • Cabochons: a few dollars per carat for lower-quality stones to around $50 per carat for high-quality stones

  • Rough: varies per size, source, and quality but generally starts at a few dollars per carat to around $20 per carat

  • Chrome diopside: $0.10 to $100 per carat for faceted cuts; $0.30 per carat for rough specimens

  • Star diopside: $0.20 per carat to several hundred for high-quality stones

Last, you’ll want to know the best way to care for your gems.

Diopside Care and Maintenance

Is chrome diopside safe to wear? All diopside is safe to wear, but some care is needed to maintain their beauty and quality.

To clean your diopside, use warm soapy water and a soft-bristled brush. Rinse your gems thoroughly and dry them with a soft cloth.

Remember that diopside is quite brittle. So keep your diopside safe in a soft cloth or pouch separate from other jewelry to prevent damage. Always opt for jewelry with protective settings when possible.

You’ll also want to keep your diopside away from:

  • Extreme heat

  • Sudden temperature changes

  • Harsh chemicals and detergents

  • Ultrasonic cleaners and tumblers

Stick to these guidelines, and your diopside will remain as stunning as the day you first got it.

chrome diopside gemstone earrings

Discover the Beauty of Dazzling Diopside!

With its stunning range of colors, captivating optical effects, and transformative healing properties — it’s not hard to see why diopside is such a favorite among jewelry designers and crystal aficionados alike.

Whether as a unique alternative to your favorite green gem or a new addition to your crystal collection, diopside’s beauty and energy will surely warm your heart and spirit.

Ready to answer the call of the Russian emerald?

Buy diopside gemstones today!

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