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By Reviewed By Thomas Dahlberg

Chrome Diopside Gemstone Information

Chrome Diopside Gemstones
Natural Chrome Diopside Gemstones

Chrome Diopside Introduction

When you first cast your eyes on one of these gorgeous gemstones you would easily be forgiven for thinking Tsavorite, Tourmaline, even Peridot in some cases, but I doubt if the words Chrome Diopside would leap from your lips.

The intense forest green or deep olives with a fantastic sparkle and a clarity that is the envy of many other green gemstones make Chrome Diopside worthy of a closer look. Perhaps it is the rather clumsy name that has prevented it from gaining the popularity it deserves.

Russian Diopside, Imperial Diopside, Russalite, Vertilite, Serbelite, Tashmarine, even deceptively named Siberian Emerald have all been tried but to no avail. It is stuck with the name Chrome Diopside but, as Shakespeare says, a rose by any other name will smell as sweet, and we recommend you check out these wonderful green gemstones, I promise you will not regret it.

Chrome Diopside Colors

Chrome Diopside Colors
Chrome Diopside Colors

You may well guess from its name that Chrome Diopside gets its green color from the presence of Chromium in its molecular make-up and you would be right. The green color ranges from a bright grassy green color all the way to dark shadowy forest green that is almost black.

Nearly all of the more famous and more expensive cousins in the gemstone world can be matched by a Chrome Diopside. The lighter greens are very similar to Peridot, the intense medium green variety is very close in color to Tsavorite Garnet and Chrome Tourmaline and at a fraction of the cost. There are many Chrome Diopside gemstones that will match an emerald in color without the inclusions or the price tag.

On some occasions, Chrome Diopside can suffer from being 'too green', the deep green color can make the gemstone appear almost black if it is cut too deep or if the specimen is in a particularly large carat size. Special care and attention is needed to facet this gemstone in such a way as to present the gorgeous green color at its best.

Chrome Diopside Species

Diopside is a calcium and magnesium silicate mineral found in various parts of the world and with the presence of chromium impurities can be used as a gemstone known as Chrome Diopside.

There is also a Diopside with manganese impurities called Violane which appears violet to light blue in color and another green Diopside with vanadium impurities named Lavrovite but these two varieties are very scarce.

A black Diopside exhibiting a star-like effect or asterism referred to as Star Diopside can also occur.

The presence of Chrome Diopside in the earth's crust is often seen as an indicator that diamonds can be found nearby and are very useful for prospective miners.

Chrome Diopside Clarity

Gemstone Clarity

Generally, Chrome Diopside gemstones of less than 2 or 3 carats have excellent clarity with no visible internal flaws or inclusions to spoil the appearance. Gemstones larger than this are very difficult to find except for opaque cabochons, Cat's Eyes or Star Diopside.

Spiritual Meaning of Chrome Diopside

Chrome Diopside is the gemstone for nature lovers and those of us with concerns about the future of the planet we live on. If you are planning to tackle any local environmental issues this is the gemstone you want by your side.

Chrome Diopside is a compassionate and caring gemstone – it will help you overcome a broken heart or any sadness you may be feeling over a recent relationship break-up and it will help you empathize with others who may be suffering. It can help fix broken relationships by encouraging you to make the first move in reconciliation or to begin the process of forgiveness.

If you have children, pets or elderly relatives or friends who rely on you for their daily needs, Chrome Diopside will provide the strength you need to both help them and make you aware of how valued and important you are.

Chrome Diopside and the Chakras

Chakras are the energy centers in your body also referred to as Qi or Prana. There are seven Chakras throughout the body each influencing a particular physical, emotional or mental state.

Chakra meditation

The seven chakras are as follows, Crown, Third Eye, Throat, Heart, Solar Plexus, Sacral and Root. The word Chakra is a Sanskrit word meaning wheel. Each chakra is assigned a color of influence and a gemstone which has a particularly dominant color will be connected with that color's chakra point.

Sometimes in life our Chakras become unbalanced or blocked and need to be realigned or cleansed. One way to do this is through the use of Chakra healing stones. These stones or crystals are colored to correspond to individual chakras, red for the Root Chakra, orange for the Sacral, yellow for the Solar Plexus, green for the Heart, blue for the Throat, Indigo for the Third Eye and purple for the Crown Chakra.

As a green gemstone, Chrome Diopside will be of most assistance and influence with the Heart Chakra which deals with love, compassion and unity. If you notice a feeling of detachment from loved ones, you lack the desire to socialize or you are having irrational fears of being left alone then it may be that your Heart Chakra is blocked.

Chrome Diopside is the key to unblocking your Heart Chakra, try meditating with a Chrome Diopside gemstone in the palm of your hand or wearing one as a pendant. If you do not care for meditating just lie down with a gemstone placed on your chest and relax allowing its power to penetrate.

Health Benefits of Chrome Diopside

Physically Chrome Diopside will help you with issues centered around your heart and lungs, strengthening blood circulation and the respiratory system, regulating blood pressure, ridding the body of toxins and helping the recovery from heart attacks and damage from smoking or emphysema.

We are often asked how to use gemstones for spiritual or health benefits and while we are certainly not experts in this field we have gained some experience and knowledge. Of course wearing the gemstone as a piece of jewelry is the easiest way for the crystal to influence your body. Certain colors have connection to different parts of the body, for example green Chrome Diopside is associated with the heart chakra so a pendant or necklace could be ideal.

Alternatively they can be placed in your purse or pocket and used as a touchstone throughout the day. Hold crystals or place them in your lap while meditating. Easiest of all, just lay down with crystals on your body, lined up with the chakra points if possible. Put them in the bath (check the particular stone is impervious to water). Decorate your home with crystals and certain crystals boost the working environment so keep them on your desk, others help you relax so keep them in the lounge or living room.

To cleanse Chrome Diopside gemstones, hold them under running water, a spring or stream is ideal but a tap will suffice, while picturing the inhibitions flushing away. Then allow the gemstone to dry in the sun for a half an hour or so.

Chrome Diopside Price

How much does it cost?

The price of colored gemstones is evaluated almost always on the hue, the tone and the saturation of their color, and this is very true of Chrome Diopside. This gemstone comes in a range of green colors from lime green to pine green all with an even color throughout. Not too light to look washed out and not too dark as to appear almost black is ideal.

Chrome Diopside Price List


Weight range

Price range / USD


up to 1ct

$17 - 40/ct


1ct - 2ct

$20 - 60/ct


2ct +

$50 - 150/ct

The next thing to consider is clarity. With faceted gemstones, a nice clear gemstone with no blemishes or visible inclusions is better than a cloudy or translucent one. With gemstones up to 2 or 3 carats, Chrome Diopside should appear at least eye-clean – that is, looking at the stone from about 15cm, you should not be able to see any internal flaws.

Finding a Chrome Diopside gemstone bigger than a couple of carats is very hard unless they are more translucent or opaque. In fact the smaller gemstones are preferable as the light is able to penetrate fully, therefore displaying a better color and a more distinct sparkle.

Chrome Diopside is a tricky gemstone to cut as it is liable to crack on two planes which makes faceting them very difficult. To make this gemstone look its best it needs shallow facets to lighten the color and enhance the sparkle but this does mean losing a lot of material – a 5 carat gemstone would need a 50 carat rough stone. They are usually cut into round, oval or cushion shapes to lessen the waste.

By the way, this wastage of material in cutting a nice large gemstone does lead to the availability of Chrome Diopside melee, lots of tiny clear gemstones ideal as accent stones or pave pieces that can really brighten up jewelry items.

See our stock of smaller sized chrome diopside right here

Despite all the work involved, their rarity and undoubted beauty, Chrome Diopside is still excellent value for a gemstone that can rival an emerald in looks.

A sumptuous green Chrome Diopside, untreated but eye-clean, cushion cut and about 1.5 carats in size would be less that $50 – a similar looking Tsavorite would be a $1000! (Very unfair to compare gemstones, I know)

Chrome Diopside History and Discovery


Chrome Diopside's history only really began in 1988 when green gemstones of great quality were discovered in the Republic of Sakha in northern Siberia, a place with such harsh winters that even Russians have to wear two coats.

Diopside itself had been described and noted two centuries before by Brazilian mineralogists Jose Bonifacio and found in many parts of the world. A variety of Diopside sometimes called Black Star of India has been known for hundreds of years and is such a deep green that it looks black and displays a white star on its surface.

The discovery of Chrome Diopside in the mountains of Russia coincided with the break-up of the Soviet Union and fairly soon this lovely green gemstone with the colors of Emeralds, Tsavorites and Tourmalines were being snapped up by European gem dealers and it has not looked back since.

Where is Chrome Diopside found?

In 1988 just before the break-up of the old Soviet Union began, samples of a deep green, clear gemstone began to filter into the west. This was one of the first sightings of Russian Chrome Diopside. As the vast expanses of Siberia were opened up to exploration more and more of this delightful gemstone became available.

The Republic of Sakha is a harsh place to make a living but it is a place where a huge amount of natural resources can be found, oil, gold, diamonds and gold to name but a few of the most valuable. Amongst these much traded commodities we can find others much more beautiful including Chrome Diopside, Amethyst, Charoite, Turquoise, Jade and many other colored gemstones. Nearly all of the world's gemstone quality Chrome Diopside is sourced from this mountainous and usually frigid area.

The mines here are closed half the year due to heavy snow, the roads are often impassable and the rivers blocked by lumps of ice so an alternative source for Chrome Diopside would be great but so far little of equivalent quality or quantity has been found. Material from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Myanmar as well as Madagascar has reached the market and India provides the bulk of Star Diopside but that is about it.

Star Diopside Gemstones
Star Diopside Gemstones

How is Chrome Diopside formed?

Diopside is formed when magma from below the earth's crust surges up to the surface and makes contact with sedimentary rocks. This contact melts the rocks and the magma and molten rock combine into a new rock formation containing a mixture of various minerals.

Rock Cycle

As the new rock formation cools, crystals form in the cracks and fissures caused by gas bubbles and if the crystals contain chromium impurities then green colored Chrome Diopside gemstones can be created.

Can Chrome Diopside be treated?

Chrome Diopside is not typically treated in any way other than the usual cutting, faceting and polishing that takes place in order to create a gemstone.

At GemSelect we will inform you of any treatments our gemstones have received.

What jewelry is Chrome Diopside suitable for?

Chrome Diopside is a wonderful looking stone and comes in a range of gorgeous green colors - its only let down is its relative softness on the Mohs Hardness scale at just 5 to 6.

Read our detailed article on the Mohs hardness scale here

This is no real problem for earrings, necklaces and pendants but can be a problem for bracelets and rings which can take a few more knocks when worn.

How to care for Chrome Diopside

There is no doubt that Chrome Diopside is quite soft for a gemstone so extra care is needed when wearing, cleaning and storing. Jewelry should be removed when doing any physical activities, especially household cleaning, sports or gardening.

Clean your Chrome Diopside in warm soapy water and dry with a soft cloth. Store them separately from other gemstones, wrapped in soft cloth or placed in fabric lined boxes.

How to tell a real Chrome Diopside

Is this gem real?

Obviously a certified gemstone from a reputable dealer is the best approach but this is not always possible when you are searching the internet for a great gemstone or a bargain!

Chrome Diopside is not an expensive gemstone so as yet there have not been many attempts to create fake gemstones. On the other hand, as it is such a striking looking gemstone with similarities to Emeralds, Tsavorite and Tourmaline it can be used as a substitute or, more sinisterly, as a counterfeit gemstone. It is softer than all three so that can be your quick tip off.

At GemSelect, we currently offer brief identification reports from your choice of two well-respected independent gemological laboratories, The Asian Institute of Gemological Sciences (AIGS) and Burapha Gemological Laboratory (BGL Lab).

Can Chrome Diopside change color?

Can this gem change color?

Some gemstones show a distinct or dramatic change in color under different light sources. Look at a garnet under electric or artificial light and it could look red, take it outside into the sunlight and all of a sudden it is green! This does NOT occur in Chrome Diopside gemstones.

What is so special about Chrome Diopside?

What really grabs you when you first see Chrome Diopside is its rich green color and its sparkle – much more so than any of its gemstone rivals. On initial impressions you would assume it was a gemstone of high quality and cost. You would be right on quality but its cost is a fraction of the similar looking Tsavorite, Tourmaline and Emerald.

The name is an issue, it sounds as though you would use it to polish up your classic car or motorcycle, but it looks as though we are going to have to live with it unless one of the trade names really takes hold. The name comes from the chemical that causes the color, Chromium, and two ways of aligning the vertical prism – 'dis'(twice) and 'opse' (face) meaning two-faced so even the root of its name is not interesting (sorry physics fans).

This will hopefully change as the gemstone becomes more established and well-known – it has only been on the market for a little more than thirty years – and when regular supplies can reassure jewelry designers that it is not a flash in the pan. That would be great news as a reasonably priced but gorgeous green gemstone is a welcome sight and Chrome Diopside deserves our respect.

Chrome Diopside - Gemological Properties

Chemical Formula:

CaMgSi2O6, Calcium magnesium silicate

Crystal Structure:

Monoclinic; columnar crystals


Green, yellow, colorless, brown, black


5 to 6 on the Mohs scale

Refractive Index:

1.664 - 1.730


3.22 to 3.38




Transparent, translucent

Double Refraction or Birefringence:

0.024 to 0.031


Vitreous to dull


Violet, orange, yellow, green

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