On this page is presented diopside, or more precisely chrome diopside, another fine alternative inside the green spectrum.
The more chromium found in diopside the greener it gets, and when enough of it is present, it may be called 'chrome diopside' and then can sit side-by-side with every famous green gem and never pale. We have always concentrated on finding true ‘chrome diopside’ without much yellow or brown. They rarely grow big, two carats are considered mighty in this variety.
A star and cat’s eye of diopside is on offer from India for those who like dark gems. They are a very affordable even in large sizes (they do get bigger in cabochon quality). The blue cousin of diopside is called violane but I have yet to see one.
Diopside, it must be said, is on the soft side as far as gems go. Still, it is much tougher than amber, pearls or coral but for a gemstone it is a softie and should be used in protective settings, pendants or earrings.
Most likely chrome diopside has for centuries been bought and sold as chrome tourmaline or emerald, but in the last decades gem laboratories like GIA or AGL have extended their testing from diamonds over the big precious three to four, or five, to every variety nature offers. Reliable gem testing has become affordable and accessible even to the most casual trader and nobody should be duped into buying a cat in the bag (if this proverb is valid in English).
Excursion: Today’s, web-based, gem-collecting public has a far deeper understanding of gemology than thought possible only a half century ago. Simultaneously, consumer rights groups have successfully challenged and broken up even the most powerful mining and trade monopolies. Artificially inflated prices of diamonds and some branded gemstones have dropped, and are still dropping, to values that accurately reflect their natural rareness, beauty and usability in jewelry. In a not too distant future, even a small but rare gem variety will be valued according to its true beauty and rareness, easily beating those big brand names that have been debased by excessive treatment and diluted by quasi synthetic products sold as ‘natural’.
Long sentences. Big words. True nevertheless. Just for fun.