Chrome Diopside is one of the newest gems on the market today.
Chrome Diopside is a chromium-rich, transparent to translucent variety of gemstone-quality calcium magnesium silicate. It has a higher refractive index than emerald or chrome tourmaline. The prices and value of Chrome Diopside can vary tremendously, depending on the size and quality of the gemstone. It is one of the few gemstones that have no treatment of any kind.
Chrome diopside has a hardness of to 5 t0 6 on the Mohs scale. Due to its relatively low level of hardness, so it is not recommended for rings that are worn daily but it is fine for use as pendants, earrings and brooches. It is much softer than both tsavorite garnet and tourmaline, and through scratch testing, can easily be distinguished from other similar coloured gem types, including emerald.
Mainly sourced from Russia’s Eastern Siberia, other deposits have more recently been found in various other locations around the world, most notably Pakistan.
Chrome diopside is coloured by chromium and can display varying shades of green. The most desirable colour is a rich, deep forest green colour similar to that of tsavorite garnet and chrome tourmaline. A nice medium-dark green is considered most valuable. Chrome diopside owes its colour to trace elements of chromium, which is also the same element responsible for the green in emerald and the red in ruby.
Chrome diopside colour darkens as the size of the stone increases. Larger stones can be so dark that they can appear to be near black. Most faceted stones are under 2.00ct in size to achieve the most desirable colour. Any faceted stone over 2 carats with a rich medium-dark green color is considered to be very rare
Chrome diopside is often available in very high clarity and transparency. When cut and polished, chrome diopside luster can range from vitreous to dull. Very opaque chrome diopside has little gem value unless it exhibits chatoyancy or asterism, which are rare and valuable.
Chrome diopside is available in many shapes and forms, but the most popular cuts are faceted emerald (octagon), oval cushion and round cuts. Some fancy faceted shapes such as trillions, hearts and pear shapes and some cabochons can be found but these are all quite rare. Almost all chrome diopside gems will be cut smaller than other gem types, typically weighing less than 1 carat each. Faceting at shallow angles is preferred in order to maximize brilliance and color.
Chrome diopside in rings is vulnerable to scratching during normal wear and must be worn with care. Chrome diopside has two directions of perfect cleavage that could result in the gem being chipped or broken if it receives a sharp impact. Always remove any Chrome diopside jewellery prior to playing sports, exercising or doing any household chores.
Care should be taken when wearing or storing them around other gems and jewelry. If possible, wrap them individually in a soft cloth or place them separately inside a fabric-lined jewelry box to prevent stones from rubbing against each other. As with most other gems, avoid the use of ultrasonic cleaners and steamers and do not use any harsh chemicals or cleaners, such as bleach or sulfuric acid. Use only a mild soap or detergent and warm to room-temperature water to wipe down your stones with a soft cloth or brush.