Today I’m writing about Chrome Diopside, which is one of my all time favorite green gemstones. Why, you ask, when there are so many fabulously famous green gemstones like Emerald and Tourmaline? The answer is simple. I love deep flawless gorgeous green, and my wallet objects to over-priced gems. To obtain an emerald or tourmaline in such deep color is usually exceptionally expensive, or, in the case of Emeralds, possibly illegal and quite likely ethically dubious. This is due to the majority of richly colored emeralds hailing from Colombia, and thus the subject of controversial and violent mining methods. So I love Chrome Diopside. Q.E.D.
Readily available, Chrome Diopside is in fact a lovely natural byproduct of the search for diamonds. It is a mineral based prospecting indicator of hidden diamonds, and is gleefully seized upon when found. Chrome Diopside, is also known occasionally as Diopside in the trade. Which is actually inaccurate, as the diopside crystal forms one other gem quality variation known as Black Star Diopside- which will be another post- so I’m just mentioning it for now… 🙂 Chrome Diopside gets it’s amazing coloration due to it’s impurities- namely the amount of chromium present in it’s crystal structure. Have I mentioned how much I love gemstone naming conventions?
A lovely stone with a medium-to-light hardness of 5.5, Chrome Diopside is the most affordable dark green gemstone on the market. Once you start getting other stones into this color category, the prices usually go astronomically high. A comparable natural emerald, for example, if it could ethically be obtained, would be anywhere from $1000 and up per carat, but a one carat Diopside starts at about $40. Now I’ve written before about karat with a k for metals, but in this instance, carat with a c is a unit of weight measurement for gemstones. For comparison’s sake, a carat is roughly equivalent to a 1/5 of a gram, and there are approximately 142 carats per ounce.
So if you’re like me, and you love rich glowing, saturated green without the hefty price tag, consider stunning Chrome Diopside.
Not too shabby for such a lovely jewel!