Chrome Diopside

The copper-bearing, green variety of diopside.

Chrome Diopside shop



Diopside is a calzium-magnesium-silicate and one of the most common minerals of the pyroxene-group. It forms two complete series with hedenbergite and johannsenite.

Origin of name: from Greek δίς dis meaning double, ὄψις opsis meaning sight or vision and ἰδού idos meaning shape. One interpretation says, this hints to the fact that diopsides often appear as twinned crystals. According to another view, it alludes to the two possible orientations of the prism faces of diopside crystals.

Synonyms and trade names: chromian diopside

Can be confused with: chrome tourmaline and tsavorite garnet

Regarding diopside´s susceptibility to heat, acids and brines we have contradictory reports. Goldsmiths told us that all contact with boric acid and galvanic baths must be avoided and that diopside should not be cleaned ultrasonically.
However, the German Wikipedia entry states, that it is virtually unsusceptible to all acids except hydrofluoric acid.
Diopside shows distinct cleavage. Apply pressure carefully during setting.

Worth knowing: due the very attractive colour, chrome diopside is, along with star diopside and the much rarer diopside cat´s Eye, the only diopside variety that is used in jewellery. However, because of the rather low hardness and the good cleavage, all diopsides should be worn with care. 

Chrome Diopside shop


Gemmological Properties of Chrome Diopside

Crystal system:
Mohs hardness:
5.5 - 6.5
Specific gravity:
3.22 - 3.38
Refractive index:
birefringent 1.663 - 1.728
Max. Birefringence:
weak, yellowish green to grass green
vitreous, dull
distinct to good
uneven to conchoidal,
light green to dark green, olive green