One of the newest gemstones to join the market, chrome diopside wasn’t used in jewelry until the latter half of the 1980s. While it doesn’t get points for its name, it’s quickly becoming one of the most popular gemstones for jewelry due to its affordability and rich, elegant look. In fact, its beauty rivals that of more expensive green gemstones like green tourmaline, tsavorite garnet or emerald.
If you’re looking for a unique green gemstone to add to your jewelry or gem collection, chrome diopside could be the perfect choice for you. Here’s all the information you need to know about this lovely gemstone.
- What is Chrome Diopside?
- How to Evaluate Chrome Diopside
- Is Chrome Diopside Valuable?
- Chrome Diopside Treatments and Enhancements
- Chrome Diopside Jewelry
- Is Chrome Diopside Durable?
- How to Care for Chrome Diopside
- Chrome Diopside Symbolism and Meaning
- Where to Buy Chrome Diopside Jewelry
What is Chrome Diopside?
Chrome diopside is a striking green, chromium-rich variety of the diopside mineral. Also called ‘Siberian Emerald’, this gemstone is mostly mined in Siberia where it was found in large, deposits back in 1988. It was after this discovery that the chrome diopside became a popular gemstone for jewelry.
How to Evaluate Chrome Diopside
When evaluating the quality of chrome diopside, it’s important to take the following factors into consideration – its cut, color, clarity and carat weight (known as the 4 Cs). Here’s what to look for:
Chrome Diopside Color
This gorgeous gemstone comes in a variety of shades and tones, ranging from very light to very dark green and isn’t found in any other color. It’s is composed of high quality calcium magnesium silicate and chromium from which it gets this stunning green hue.
Chrome diopside crystal by Kilimanjaro Gemstones. See it here.
The interesting thing about chrome diopside is that the stone’s color darkens steadily as its size increases. Therefore, the bigger the stone, the darker its color. This is why it’s mostly used in very small sizes for jewelry since larger sizes will have a darker look that’s almost black. Because of this reason, large chrome diopside stones are not very popular for jewelry.
The most desirable color for chrome diopside is a leafy green hue that’s well saturated and looks similar to demantoids or tsavorite garnet. This color can be seen in stones under 2 carats, but large sizes of the gemstone are nearly impossible to find in this lovely hue. This color is also the most valuable.
Chrome Diopside Cut
Although chrome diopside is a soft stone, it can easily be cut into any shape and style, so there’s a wide variety of cuts and shapes to choose from. However, the stone looks best with wide facets since they bring out the color while emphasizing its clarity and transparency.
The emerald cut, which is a step-cut, is ideal for chrome diopside gemstones since it has very wide facets. Another suitable cut is the brilliant cut which gives the stone many angles, making it sparkle more. Cabochon cut is very rare and is mostly done with low quality chrome diopside.
Emerald cut chrome diopside ring by Luo Jewelry. See it here.
While chrome diopside is available in all shapes, sizes and cuts, the most popular shapes are oval, marquise, emerald and round. However, you can have the gemstone cut in any shape you want, depending on your preference.
Chrome Diopside Clarity
A transparent stone with excellent clarity, chrome diopside exhibits a vitreous luster and those with very few to no inclusions are considered the most valuable. Because of its high transparency, any inclusions in the stone are can be easily seen with the naked eye.
Chrome diopside has a high refractive index of 1.675 to 1.701 which is twice that of emerald. It’s a very reflective gemstone which means that it allows for more light to bounce of its surface, which is what gives it its lovely sparkle.
Chrome Diopside Carat
As we mentioned earlier, only very small carat sizes of this gemstones are used in jewelry. While the stone is commonly found in large sizes, what you see in jewelry is very small and will most likely be less than 1 carat.
The ideal size for gem quality chrome diopside is 8×6 or 10×8 mm with a carat weight less than 2-5 carats. Anything larger would mean that it’s either extremely rare and valuable or very dark and unsuitable for jewelry.
Is Chrome Diopside Valuable?
One of the most affordable green gemstones, chrome diopside jewelry is priced according to the quality of both the stone and the jewelry setting. It’s an excellent alternative to purchasing expensive gemstones like emerald or green tourmaline.
Chrome diopside and diamond dangle earrings by EM Attic. See them here.
The highest quality chrome diopside with the ideal green hue can cost up to $100 per carat but there are many affordable pieces on the market. You get to enjoy a luxurious green gemstone that looks as good as any other, (or even better!) without burning a hole in your pocket.
Chrome Diopside Treatments and Enhancements
Like all diopside gems, chrome diopside stones are a hundred percent natural and don’t undergo treatments or enhancements of any sort. Since the gemstone is relatively affordable, there are no known synthetic diopside pieces on the market. However, this gemstone is sometimes used to imitate other gemstones which look similar and are far more valuable.
Chrome Diopside Jewelry
The rich, green hue of chrome diopside makes it a gorgeous gemstone for any type of jewelry, where it’s bracelets, pendants, earrings or rings. Because its color is so intense, even the tiniest piece of jewelry can add a pop of color to the simplest outfit, catching everyone’s eye.
Chrome diopside set in gold ring by Kundanika Jewels. See it here.
Chrome diopside generally goes well with all jewelry metals. If you’re looking for something vintage or classic and sophisticated, yellow gold would be an excellent option.
Russian chrome diopside sterling silver necklace by Trendydeals. Check price here.
On the other hand, if you’re more interested in a striking, contrasting and modern look, you can always go with silver-hued metals for your chrome diopside jewelry.
Since chrome diopside isn’t a very durable stone, you’ll have to be careful about protecting your jewelry from bumps and knocks to avoid damaging it. Although it makes for stunning engagement rings, it’s probably not a good idea since the gemstone is too soft for daily wear.
However, at the end of the day, choice is up to you. You can, of course, have an engagement ring featuring this beautiful gemstone if you’d like, but you’ll have to remember to take extra good care of it.
Natural chrome diopside engagement ring by Jewelove Store. See it here.
The affordability of chrome diopside makes it easy to find beautiful crafted jewelry pieces at very reasonable prices. Because it looks similar to other more expensive green gemstones, no one will know the difference.
Is Chrome Diopside Durable?
Chrome diopside has a hardness of 5 – 6 on Mohs’ scale of mineral hardness which means it’s a fairly soft stone that should be worn with caution. Its cleavage and brittle composition means that it can fracture or chip easily.
How to Care for Chrome Diopside
Taking care of your chrome diopside jewelry won’t be too difficult, but you’ll need to be committed if you want it to last longer. Here are some tips on how to care for your chrome diopside piece:
- Clean the stone using only warm water and mild soap.
- Never use chemicals or rough materials to clean the stone. Instead, use only a very soft-bristled toothbrush or just a soft cloth.
- Never place your chrome diopside jewelry in ultrasonic cleaners since the vibrations can cause the stone to fracture.
- When storing your chrome diopside piece, place it safely in a jewelry box, a pouch, a dust-free bag or just wrap it up in a soft cloth. Keep it away from other harder gemstones and any hard objects that can scratch or damage it.
- If you’re engaging in any vigorous physical activity like sports, gardening or even cleaning the house, remove your jewelry and keep it somewhere safe.
- Keep your chrome diopside jewelry away from all harsh chemicals such as cosmetics, hair care products, detergents or perfumes.
- If you’re going swimming, remember to take your jewelry off first since the chlorine in the water could damage the stone’s appearance.
Chrome Diopside Symbolism and Meaning
Since chrome diopside is a fairly new gemstone to join the jewelry market, there aren’t many myths or legends associated with it. However, it does have certain meanings and symbolism.
For instance, people once believed that chrome diopside held very strong, protective energies and they often used it as a protective talisman. Even today, there are many who keep talismans featuring this gemstone on their person as they believe that it would be protect them from harm and evil.
Chrome diopside protective pendant by Ingor Amulets Store. See it here.
Since the color green is associated with the earth, loyalty, spirituality, birth, freshness and nature, chrome diopside is sometimes connected to the same concepts. It’s believed that this gemstone influences the heart chakra mostly because of its green color. It can unlock the heart chakra, eliminating negative feelings of fear, depression, anger and dissension.
Chrome diopside is also said to bring about physical healing by affecting the lungs and heart. It can strength blood circulation and rid your body of toxins, especially those created in smokers.
Where to Buy Chrome Diopside Jewelry
Since it was first discovered, chrome diopside has become a popular gemstone for jewelry, carried by many retailers. Even so, it can be difficult to find it at your local jewelry store. In this case, we recommend searching online, where you’ll have unlimited options.
Amazon has an extensive range of unique chrome diopside jewelry at an affordable price range. You’re sure to be spoilt for choice here!
You can also search on Etsy, where there’s a fairly impressive collection of chrome diopside jewelry and gemstones to suit all budgets.
Before you purchase your jewelry, check the customer reviews and ratings carefully to make sure you’re not getting scammed. Vet the retailers’ policies, especially their returns policies, and don’t forget to ask any questions you might have.