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Chrome diopside is one of the newest gemstones on the market but, although initially seen as a collector’s gemstone, it has very quickly grown too become one of the most popular green gemstones for jewelry.
Although rare, chrome diopside is affordable and easily found on the market. If you’re on the hunt for a unique gemstone to add to your collection or simply for a beautiful green rock, this might be the stone for you.
Here’s everything you need to know about how to buy chrome diopside gemstone and jewelry.
What is Chrome Diopside?
Chrome diopside is the most well-known variety of gem quality diopside (the other being black star diopside). The most plentiful deposits were found in 1988 in Siberia which made the stone available for use in jewelry.
This is why it is sometimes also called Siberian Emerald, even though emerald is a highly valuable precious stone while chrome diopside is only a semi-precious gemstone.
Pakistan is another noteworthy source for this gemstone. Chrome diopside is also found in several other parts of the world, although not in large quantities.
Chrome diopside is made of gem quality calcium magnesium silicate, and gets its intense green hue from the presence of chromium.
The stone gets its name from the Greek words di (two) and opse (face). Put together, it refers to the orientation of the prism.
How to Choose Chrome Diopside Color
Chrome diopside receives its green coloring from chromium, and although it comes in a variety of shades and tones, it is found only in green.
Chrome diopside can range from faint to dark green. An interesting fact of the gemstone is that the larger the stone, the darker the tone. Because of this factor, large stones don’t make for good jewelry as they can be nearly black in color.
For the best chrome diopside color, the gemstone needs to be under approximately 2 carats. As a result, it’s almost impossible to find large sizes of chrome diopside that have a beautiful, vivid green hue.
The most sought after color for chrome diopside is an evenly saturated, leafy green hue, similar to that of tsavorite garnet or demantoids. These are also the priciest.
Chrome Diopside and Clarity
Chrome diopside has excellent clarity with good transparency. You can also find translucent to opaque varieties of the gemstone, but these are not very valuable. Opaque diopside will generally not be considered to be of gemstone quality.
When choosing a piece of chrome diopside jewelry, check to see if there are any visible inclusions that may mar the appearance of the stone. Look for a stone that has high transparency and clarity as these are the most valuable and in demand.
Choosing Chrome Diopside Cut
Chrome diopside can be cut into any popular gemstone shape. While it can be cut into cabochons, faceting chrome diopside brings out its color and emphasise its clarity. The most popular shapes for chrome diopside are round, oval, marquise and emerald but the shape you choose depends on your personal preference.
Shapes with open, wide facets such as the emerald cut bring out the clarity and transparency of the stone, while brilliant cuts gives it many angles and emphasises the sparkle.
Choosing Carat Size
As mentioned above, chrome diopside comes in small carat sizes, which means that the carat size you find will generally be under 1 carat. Anything over this is either very dark or quite rare and valuable.
To get around this, jewelers often feature a number of chrome diopside gemstones together in a single piece like this uniquely ring.
Synthetic, Treated and Imitation Chrome Diopside
All diopside gemstones are natural and don’t undergo any enhancements or treatments. There are no known imitation diopside, as this gemstone is quite affordable. However, chrome diopside can sometimes be used to imitate more valuable gemstones.
Chrome Diopside Value
The good news is that chrome diopside is the most affordable of all the richly hued green gemstones. This makes it a great alternative to buying more expensive stones such as emerald. The price of chrome diopside jewelry can vary depending on the quality of the setting and the stone. High quality chrome diopside with the best color costs around $100 per carat.
Choosing Chrome Diopside Jewelry
Chrome diopside looks beautiful in any type of jewelry, whether it is earring studs or dangles, bracelets, pendants or rings. Due to its rich, green hue, even a small stone can be eye-catching and a little tends to go a long way.
While silver-hued metals give a more contrasting, striking look to chrome diopside, yellow gold provides a classic, sophisticated look with a vintage charm.
While chrome diopside rings are stunning, take care to keep them from bumps and knocks as this can damage the stone. A chrome diopside engagement ring is not a good idea due to how soft the gemstone is.
Because the stone is quite affordable, you can find beautifully crafted pieces at reasonable prices, making it an easy stone to add to your jewelry collection especially as an alternative to more expensive green gemstones.
Chrome Diopside Durability and Care
Chrome diopside is a softer gemstone, with a hardness rating of only 5.5 to 6 on the Mohs scale. As a result, it can easily be scratched by other harder objects. It is also not a very tough stone due to its cleavage and brittle composition, meaning that it can chip or fracture if dealt a hard blow.
Always take chrome diopside jewelry off when engaging in any vigorous activity such as gardening, playing sports, swimming or climbing. Ensure that the stone does not come into contact with household detergents and chemicals, including hairspray, cosmetics or perfumes.
When cleaning chrome diopside, simply using a mild soap and warm water is sufficient. Avoid using harsh or abrasive cleaners and materials to clean the stone, instead using a soft cloth or soft-bristled toothbrush to clean it. Also avoid ultrasonic cleaners as the stone can fracture when exposed to the intense vibrations.
Finally, when storing chrome diopside jewelry, always place it in a separate dust-free bag or pouch, away from other gemstones and metals. This will keep it free from scratches and damage.
Chrome Diopside Meaning and Symbolism
Gemstones tend to acquire meaning and symbolism the longer they are around. As a new kid on the block, chrome diopside has yet to acquire these myths and aura. Even so, there are some associations that chrome diopside is connected to.
These include a stone that connects you to earth and to Mother Nature, and is believed to hold a strong, protective energy. It is also seen as talisman for personal protection.
The color green in general has associations with renewal, birth, freshness, nature, loyalty and spirituality, so as an intensely green gemstone, chrome diopside is sometimes associated with these concepts.
Where to Buy Chrome Diopside
Many retailers now carry chrome diopside as it has entered the mainstream market, but finding this gemstone at your local jewelers may still prove difficult. It’s best to search online to avail yourself of more options.
Famous online retailers such as Etsy, known for having extensive gemstone jewelry collections, often carry chrome diopside jewelry. You can also check on Amazon, which is bound to have chrome diopside jewelry and gemstones to suit every budget. Do your due diligence and vet the retailer’s after sales policies (especially returns policies) and trustworthiness before you buy.