Myths and legends

What is the difference between Chrome diopside and emerald?

Chrome diopside is a charming green mineral with a completely unromantic name that means nothing to the average person and is known only to gemologists. This multi-faced, fickle and changeable stone, like a woman’s mood, defeated even the mythical two-faced Janus, because it has as many as five mysterious faces.

What is the mineral chrome diopside?

This trivial name comes from the chemical composition of a substance that is part of the group of diopsides – stones that can change color when the angle of inclination changes. The entire color palette from the apple green of laurel to the matte velvet of Black Star can be found in the diopside group. Laurelite has a unique bright color, but is unsuitable for making jewelry due to its granular texture, so it serves as an ornamental mineral for souvenirs. A special place is occupied by the unusual star diopside Black Star. It is mined from the only deposit in India. When a ray of light hits a crystal, a four-rayed bright white or milky white star appears on the surface. In diffused light, a gray stripe “crawls” across the matte surface of the stone, similar to the effect of a cat’s eye. Black laurelite is very rare and takes its place on a par with ruby ​​and sapphire, which also have a star pattern. The transparent crystal of chrome diopside has absorbed all the shades of the fabulous Emerald City. Here laurel shines with the purity of May foliage, but as soon as you turn it, the lush, joyful spring greenery in an instant turns into a dark thicket of an ancient forest. Diopsides are the signature minerals of the Sakha Republic. The Russian deposit of chrome diopside is hidden precisely there – in the depths of icy Yakutia, where grassy-green minerals of amazing purity are mined, which are called Siberian emeralds. Minerals even manage to “pretend” to be an emerald, to such an extent the depth and transparency of the mineral resembles the noble radiance of an expensive mineral, but, in comparison with a precious emerald, it is too fragile and capricious to process. The many-sided essence of chrome diopside even affects salespeople in jewelry stores. Very often they “forget” to say that the name “Siberian emerald” is folk and does not reflect the class of the stone. Jewelry designers could not ignore the bright green diopsides, which have the noble shine of natural silk. The ideal setting for the Sibirlite stone is blackened silver, but it will also look great in gold.

The magical properties of diopside

Minerals also have magical properties. The most powerful is the Black Star, a mysterious stone of rare black color. That is why only those who do not violate the laws of the universe can wear it, otherwise the stone will take revenge on the owner. Diopsides do not exhibit magical properties right away – the stone must “get used” to its owner, and only then the owner of the gem will feel changes for the better in his life. The mineral has protective energy of the highest level, therefore jewelry with chrome diopside:

  • protects against diseases and the evil eye;
  • neutralizes negativity directed at the owner;
  • will help you find peace of mind.

The green color of sibirlite brings renewal to life, saves from depression and anger.

The effect of chrome diopside depends on the decoration in which it is inserted:

  • the bracelet will attract good luck;
  • the ring will help you climb the career ladder;
  • the pendant will enhance intuition.

But the most popular jewelry is considered to be earrings with Yakut emerald: they will help you avoid getting into difficult situations and give clarity to your thinking.

Green diopsides also have medicinal properties. They cope with insomnia better than any sleeping pill; just apply the magic mineral to your forehead for 15 minutes, and healthy, sound sleep is guaranteed.

Diopside stone calms the heartbeat, helps with hypertension and stabilizes the cardiovascular system.

Chrome diopside is a universal talisman according to astrology; it suits almost all zodiac signs: it will add confidence to indecisive Pisces, and new bright events in life to stable Libra. For most signs, this mineral will have energy to help, except for the violent, uncontrollable Aries and stubborn Capricorn. Diopsides are not friends with these signs, and people born under these zodiac constellations do not need to choose them as a talisman.

There will be no harm from the emerald gem, but it is useless to expect help from it.

In the world of stones, everything is like people: each stone has its own reputation and character. But one cannot help but fall in love with the fickle and changeable sibirlite, whose magical radiance illuminates life from distant childhood, because looking into the depths of the crystal, one can see the pointed towers of the Emerald City.

In the oral folklore of the Sakha people there is a legend that a long time ago, while flying over Yakutia in the winter cold, God frostbitten his hand and dropped a bag of precious stones. They scattered across high mountains, endless river valleys and tundra.

Today, Yakut diamonds are known all over the world. But they are not the only ones included in the gem box of this northern republic. It contains garnet, chrysolite, amethyst, rock crystal, jade, jade, carnelian. Chrome diopside, which is now called the signature stone of Yakutia, has gained great popularity.

In recent years, along with well-known jewelry stones, gems that are less familiar to a wide range of lovers have appeared. Among them, the leading place is occupied by chrome diopside – a bright green variety of diopside, which translated from Greek means a mineral that has a double appearance (“dios” – double, “opsis” – appearance). In appearance, it is similar to an emerald, from which it differs in lower hardness and refractive indices (sometimes it seems that the edges of the crystal are bifurcated). The Inagli River (the right tributary of the Aldan), where the chrome diopside deposit is located, gave this stone another name – “inaglit”. And for a certain similarity with emerald in the literature, chrome diopside has been firmly assigned the name “Siberian emerald”. In Yakutia, it was dubbed the “Yakut emerald.” But, unfortunately, none of these names caught on, and the obscure and unattractive word “chrome diopside” still grates on the ears, scaring off many with its unknowns.

Chrome diopside is a difficult mineral to cut. Not all cutters love and know how to work with it; many consider it very capricious, it requires a special approach and patience. But those masters who have mastered this stone work with it constantly. Often, chrome diopside, which looks like an emerald, is cut with an emerald cut, often in steps. Round brilliant cut stones look great, and oval cut stones look just as good. Small gems with a diameter of up to 5 mm are especially magnificent; even the darkest ones are distinguished by their good “play”. Since chrome diopside has a relatively low hardness, it is usually set in earrings, pendants, and brooches. In jewelry it looks good in combination with diamonds. In Yakutia, mass and exclusive products with this stone are produced by JSC Sakhayuvelir and a number of other enterprises.

Currently, chrome diopside raw materials can be freely purchased in Russia. The price of raw materials at Russian gem exhibitions is about two dollars per gram. The cost of jewelry chrome diopside raw materials sold in Yakutia is as follows (in US dollars per gram): Grade I – 6-7; II grade – 3-6; cabochon – 2-3. Typically, faceted stones are much more expensive. The price per carat typically ranges from $8 to $25. Considering the rarity and beauty of this stone, the price is clearly low. Mostly small stones weighing up to 1-2 and very rarely – up to 5 carats are sold. In the materials of various exhibitions and price lists of foreign companies one can find messages about the sale of very large stones weighing 20-50 carats, but for the most part such stones are still of mineralogical interest.

Unfortunately, the world market is little familiar with chrome diopside. “Chrome-diopside”, or “Russian chrome-diopside”, as it is called outside Russia, is not included in international price lists. Processed chrome diopside is not included in the famous American Michelsen Gemstone Index. Despite this, in recent years there has been an increase in its popularity in the American and European markets. Foreign experts note that in terms of its color qualities, chrome diopside is not inferior to tsavorite (green garnet) or tourmaline.

The history of the discovery of this stone is interesting. In the book by M.I. Pylyaev “Precious Stones”, published in 1877 by the Imperial St. Petersburg Mineralogical Society, there is not a word about chrome diopside. At that time, and much later, nothing was known about such a jewelry stone. In the modern dictionary of semi-precious stones B.F. Kulikova, V.V. Bukanov, released in 1988, a whole section is devoted to chrome diopside, where it is noted that this is “a new jewelry and ornamental material, individual crystals of chrome diopside look very impressive as inserts in jewelry. » Indeed, chrome diopside has been used relatively recently as a jewelry stone. Previously, it was better known to geologists as a rock-forming mineral. The turning point came after the discovery and development of the Inaglinskoye field, which is located in the south of Yakutia near the city of Aldana. The deposit was discovered in 1968 by Anatoly Mikhailovich Korchagin. He was the first to describe chromium diopside in detail, photograph it under an electron microscope, and present the results of chemical analysis. At the same time, the specialized expedition “Vostokquartz Gems” began to carry out geological exploration work.

At the beginning of 1968, A.M. Korchagin defended his thesis on the topic “Geological structure of the Inaglin massif of ultrabasic and alkaline rocks and the genetic features of the associated phlogopite-vermiculite deposit.”

I knew for a long time that this work was in the geological funds from numerous references from the authors of subsequent reports who worked in this area. She wasn’t in Yakutsk, and she wasn’t on the “Vostokquartz-Samotsvety” expedition either. Only the geological funds of the Timpton-Uchur geological exploration expedition remained, where I found a handwritten book slightly yellowed with time with an accompanying letter. In it, the Scientific Council of the Institute asks to consider AM Korchagin’s dissertation work and send an official review. Now it has become clear why this work ended up here and is not in the territorial repository of Yakutsk. The description of chrome diopside provides mineralogical characteristics and optical properties, as well as the results of chemical analysis of various samples of this mineral. Here are photographs taken under an electron microscope with a magnification of 1100 times. The pictures are impressive. They have cracks and other flaws that are completely invisible even under a simple microscope, which spoil the stone and deteriorate its quality.

In the same year, after defending his dissertation by A.M. Korchagin applied for the discovery of a chromium diopside deposit. The discoverer’s claim was immediately verified by geologists of the specialized expedition “Vostokquartz Gems”. From the selected sample of chrome diopside, they obtained quality jewelry raw materials that could be used for cutting. The first stones, cut in the shape of a baguette, looked like emeralds of the purest water. The ray of light that hit them was refracted many times, and the stones either played with an even green light, or sparkled, and then it seemed like multi-colored fireworks flying into the sky.

The next year, geologists of the same expedition G.P. Patskevich and N.I. Kruk studied the structure of the deposit, established general patterns of distribution of chromium diopside and the morphology of ore bodies, and calculated predicted reserves. The results were excellent. Only then did it become clear that this was indeed a deposit, and in terms of gemstone reserves, it was a very large one.

Development of the deposit began in 1972, but jewelry raw materials were mined almost from the very first days of geological exploration. And they forgot about Korchagin for many years. However, in the end, justice triumphed, and 18 years later, for the discovery of the Inagli deposit, he was given a diploma from the USSR Ministry of Geosciences and awarded the honorary title “Discoverer of the Deposit.”

Emerald green chrome diopside is also found in Finland, South Africa, Myanmar (Burma), the Swiss Alps, and Kenya. However, jewelry varieties are rare, their reserves are insignificant, so stones from these places are not widely known. The Inaglinskoye deposit still remains the largest and unique in terms of reserves of chromium diopside. It is located quite you in the mountains. When you first arrive here, you are involuntarily amazed: everything around is green. The roads, the slope of a nearby hill with a dump, the banks of a stream are covered as if with snow, a thick layer of chrome diopside. It seems as if a kind wizard from a fairy tale created this amazing ore country. After the rain, chrome diopside sparkles and shines in the sun, and it seems that you are walking on dewy green grass. Usually, in the area of ​​the deposit, snow falls early and melts late, so chromium diopside is mined only in the warm season. At the beginning of October the season is already coming to an end. All mountains are covered with thick snow cover. When my expedition and I left Inagli several years ago, it was so snowy on the pass that more than once we had to pull out the car. In one place the road was crossed by a fresh elk track. From the mountain there was a view of the Inagli deposit and the mining village. Gray smoke curled above the houses, and the rumble of a compressor could be heard. At first glance, it was even difficult to believe that among this kingdom of snow there was such a green stone – chrome diopside, which radiates warmth and warms the soul.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button