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Diopside

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Formula:
CaMgSi
 
2
O
 
6
System:MonoclinicColour:light to dark green, ...
Lustre:Vitreous, DullHardness:5½ - 6½
Member of:Clinopyroxene Subgroup > Pyroxene Group
Name:Named in 1806 by Rene Just Haüy From the Greek διζ- for "double" and οψτζ- "appearance," in allusion to two possible orientations of the prism zone.


Pyroxene Group - Clinopyroxene Subgroup; see also the Diopside-Hedenbergite Series, and the Diopside-Johannsenite Series.

One of the most common members of the Pyroxene Group. Often occurs in metamorphosed limestones (marbles) as generally pale greenish to greyish green crystals, masses and blebs/grains associated with humite-group minerals, spinel, phlogopite, tremolite and grossular. Can also be pure white and not distinguishable from the enclosing carbonate. Often fluorescent bright powder blue.

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Classification of Diopside

IMA status:Valid - first described prior to 1959 (pre-IMA) - "Grandfathered"
Strunz 8th edition ID:8/F.01-50
Nickel-Strunz 10th (pending) edition ID:9.DA.15

9 : SILICATES (Germanates)
D : Inosilicates
A : Inosilicates with 2-periodic single chains, Si2O6; pyroxene family
Dana 8th edition ID:65.1.3a.1

65 : INOSILICATES Single-Width,Unbranched Chains,(W=1)
1 : Single-Width Unbranched Chains, W=1 with chains P=2
Hey's CIM Ref.:14.6.12

14 : Silicates not Containing Aluminum
6 : Silicates of Ca with alkali or Mg or both
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Physical Properties of Diopside

Lustre:Vitreous, Dull
Diaphaneity (Transparency):Transparent, Opaque
Colour:light to dark green, blue, brown, colourless, snow white, grey
Streak:white
Hardness (Mohs):5½ - 6½
Tenacity:Brittle
Cleavage:Distinct/Good
on {110}
Parting:on {100} and probably {010}
Fracture:Irregular/Uneven, Conchoidal
Density (measured):3.22 - 3.38 g/cm3
Density (calculated):3.278 g/cm3

Crystallography of Diopside

Crystal System:Monoclinic
Class (H-M):2/m - Prismatic
Space Group:B2/b
Cell Parameters:a = 9.746Å, b = 8.899Å, c = 5.251Å
β = 105.79°
Ratio:a:b:c = 1.095 : 1 : 0.59
Unit Cell Volume:V 438.23 ų (Calculated from Unit Cell)
Z:4
Morphology:Prismatic crystals with square cross sections.
Twinning:Simple or multiple twins on {100} or {010} common.
Crystal Atlas:
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Diopside no.135 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)

About Crystal Atlas

The mindat.org Crystal Atlas allows you to view a selection of crystal drawings of real and idealised crystal forms for this mineral and, in certain cases, 3d rotating crystal objects. The 3d models and HTML5 code are kindly provided by www.smorf.nl.

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X-Ray Powder Diffraction:
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Radiation - Copper Kα
Data Set:
Horizontal Axis: ° to ° Vertical Axis: % Source Data: Filtered Data:
Data courtesy of RRUFF project at University of Arizona, used with permission.

Optical Data of Diopside

Type:Biaxial (+)
RI values: nα = 1.663 - 1.699 nβ = 1.671 - 1.705 nγ = 1.693 - 1.728
2V:Measured: 58° to 63°, Calculated: 56° to 64°
Maximum Birefringence:δ = 0.030

Chart shows birefringence interference colour range (at 30µm thickness) and does not take into account mineral colouration.
Surface Relief:High
Dispersion:weak to distinct r > v

Chemical Properties of Diopside

Formula:
CaMgSi
 
2
O
 
6
Simplified for copy/paste:CaMgSi2O6
Essential elements:Ca, Mg, O, Si
All elements listed in formula:Ca, Mg, O, Si
Common Impurities:Fe,V,Cr,Mn,Zn,Al,Ti,Na,K

Relationship of Diopside to other Species

Series:Forms a series with Johannsenite (see here)
Forms a series with Hedenbergite (see here)
Forms a series with Kosmochlor (see here)
Member of:Clinopyroxene Subgroup > Pyroxene Group
Other Members of Group:

- +
Aegirine
NaFe
3+
 
Si
 
2
O
 
6
Aegirine-augite
(Na,Ca)(Fe
3+
 
,Fe
2+
 
,Mg,Al)Si
 
2
O
 
6
Augite
(Ca,Na)(Mg,Fe
2+
 
,Al,Fe
3+
 
,Ti)[(Si,Al)
 
2
O
 
6
]
Clinoenstatite
MgSiO
 
3
Clinoferrosilite
Fe
2+
 
SiO
 
3
Esseneite
CaFe
3+
 
[AlSiO
 
6
]
Grossmanite
CaTi
3+
 
AlSiO
 
6
Hedenbergite
CaFe
2+
 
Si
 
2
O
 
6
Jadeite
Na(Al,Fe
3+
 
)Si
 
2
O
 
6
Jervisite
(Na,Ca,Fe
2+
 
)(Sc,Mg,Fe
2+
 
)Si
 
2
O
 
6
Johannsenite
CaMn
2+
 
Si
 
2
O
 
6
Kanoite
Mn
2+
 
(Mg,Mn
2+
 
)Si
 
2
O
 
6
Kosmochlor
NaCrSi
 
2
O
 
6
Kushiroite
CaAl[AlSiO
 
6
]
Namansilite
NaMn
3+
 
Si
 
2
O
 
6
Natalyite
Na(V
3+
 
,Cr)Si
 
2
O
 
6
Omphacite
(Ca,Na)(Mg,Al)Si
 
2
O
 
6
Petedunnite
Ca(Zn,Mn
2+
 
,Mg,Fe
2+
 
)Si
 
2
O
 
6
Pigeonite
(Mg,Fe
2+
 
,Ca)(Mg,Fe
2+
 
)Si
 
2
O
 
6
Spodumene
LiAlSi
 
2
O
 
6
Related Minerals - Nickel-Strunz Grouping):

- +
9.DA.05Donpeacorite
(Mn
2+
 
,Mg)Mg[SiO
 
3
]
 
2
9.DA.05Enstatite
MgSiO
 
3
9.DA.05Ferrosilite
FeSiO
 
3
9.DA.10Clinoenstatite
MgSiO
 
3
9.DA.10Clinoferrosilite
Fe
2+
 
SiO
 
3
9.DA.10Kanoite
Mn
2+
 
(Mg,Mn
2+
 
)Si
 
2
O
 
6
9.DA.10Pigeonite
(Mg,Fe
2+
 
,Ca)(Mg,Fe
2+
 
)Si
 
2
O
 
6
9.DA.15Augite
(Ca,Na)(Mg,Fe
2+
 
,Al,Fe
3+
 
,Ti)[(Si,Al)
 
2
O
 
6
]
9.DA.15Esseneite
CaFe
3+
 
[AlSiO
 
6
]
9.DA.15Hedenbergite
CaFe
2+
 
Si
 
2
O
 
6
9.DA.15Johannsenite
CaMn
2+
 
Si
 
2
O
 
6
9.DA.15Petedunnite
Ca(Zn,Mn
2+
 
,Mg,Fe
2+
 
)Si
 
2
O
 
6
9.DA.15Davisite
CaScAlSiO
 
6
9.DA.15Kushiroite
CaAl[AlSiO
 
6
]
9.DA.15Grossmanite
CaTi
3+
 
AlSiO
 
6
9.DA.20Aegirine-augite
(Na,Ca)(Fe
3+
 
,Fe
2+
 
,Mg,Al)Si
 
2
O
 
6
9.DA.20Omphacite
(Ca,Na)(Mg,Al)Si
 
2
O
 
6
9.DA.25Aegirine
NaFe
3+
 
Si
 
2
O
 
6
9.DA.25Jadeite
Na(Al,Fe
3+
 
)Si
 
2
O
 
6
9.DA.25Jervisite
(Na,Ca,Fe
2+
 
)(Sc,Mg,Fe
2+
 
)Si
 
2
O
 
6
9.DA.25Kosmochlor
NaCrSi
 
2
O
 
6
9.DA.25Namansilite
NaMn
3+
 
Si
 
2
O
 
6
9.DA.25Natalyite
Na(V
3+
 
,Cr)Si
 
2
O
 
6
9.DA.30Spodumene
LiAlSi
 
2
O
 
6
Related Minerals - Hey's Index Grouping:

- +
14.6.1Combeite
Na
 
2
Ca
 
2
(Si
 
6
O
 
18
)
 
0.5
14.6.2Pectolite
NaCa
 
2
(HSi
 
3
O
 
9
)
14.6.3Pectolite-M2abc
NaCa
 
2
[HSi
 
3
O
 
9
]
14.6.4Denisovite
Ca
 
2
(K,Na)Si
 
3
O
 
8
(F,OH)
 
2
14.6.5Tokkoite
K
 
2
Ca
 
4
Si
 
7
O
 
17
(O,OH,F)
 
4
14.6.6Mountainite
KNa
 
2
Ca
 
2
[Si
 
8
O
 
19
(OH)] · 6H
 
2
O
14.6.7Rhodesite
KHCa
 
2
Si
 
8
O
 
19
· 5H
 
2
O
14.6.8Miserite
K(Ca,Ce)
 
4
Si
 
5
O
 
13
(OH)
 
3
14.6.9Åkermanite
Ca
 
2
Mg(Si
 
2
O
 
7
)
14.6.10Monticellite
CaMgSiO
 
4
14.6.11Merwinite
Ca
 
3
Mg(SiO
 
4
)
 
2
14.6.13Tremolite
☐{Ca
 
2
}{Mg
 
5
}(Si
 
8
O
 
22
)(OH)
 
2

Other Names for Diopside

Synonyms:
AcantoideAcimite-diopsideAlaliteBistagiteChrome-Augite
CoccoliteDekalbiteKokkolithLeucaugiteMalacolite
MalakolithMussite (of Bonvoisin)ProtheiteSahliteSalite
Tashmarine
Other Languages:
Basque:Diopsido
Croatian:Diopsid
Dutch:Diopsied
Esperanto:Diopsido
Finnish:Diopsidi
French:Diopside
German:Diopsid
Alalith
Chromaugit
Coccolith
Dekalbit
Leukaugit
Protheit
Sahlit
Salit
Hebrew:דיופסיד
Hungarian:Diopszid
Italian:Diopside
Japanese:透輝石
Polish:Diopsyd
Portuguese:Diópsido
Romanian:Diopsid
Russian:Диопсид
Simplified Chinese:透辉石
次透辉石
Slovak:Diopsid
Spanish:Diopsidos
Alalita
Coccolita
Dekalbita
Leucaugita
Malacolita
Sahlita
Salita
Swedish:Diopsid
Ukrainian:Діопсид
Varieties:
BaikaliteBlue DiopsideCanaaniteChromian DiopsideDiallage
FedoroviteLavroviteMaclurite (of Nuttall and Torrey)SchefferiteTraversellite
ViolanZinc-Schefferite

Other Information

Fluorescence in UV light:Bright blue-white (white coloured material)(SW UV)
Health Warning:No information on health risks for this material has been entered into the database. You should always treat mineral specimens with care.

References for Diopside

Reference List:

- +
Smith, J.V. (1966) X-ray emission microanalysis of rock-forming minerals. VI: Clinopyroxenes near the diopside-hedenbergite join. Journal of Geology: 74: 463-467.

Clark, J.R., D.E. Appleman, and J.J. Papike (1969) Crystal-chemical characterization of clinopyroxenes based on eight new structure refinements. MSA Special Paper 2: 31-50.

Ghose, S. & P. Schindler (1969), Determination of the distribution of trace amounts on Mn+2 in diopsides by electron paramagnetic resonance. In: Pyroxenes and Amphiboles: Crystal chemistry and phase petrology: Mineralogical Society of America Special Paper 2: 51-58.

Kushiro, I. (1969), The system forsterite-diopside-silica with and without water at high pressures: American Journal of Science: 267: 269-294.

Cameron, M., S. Shigeho, C.T. Prewitt & J.J. Papike (1973), High temperature crystal chemistry of acmite, diopside, hedenbergite, jadeite, spodumene and ureyite: American Mineralogist: 58: 594-618.

A. Mottana, G. Rossi, A. Kracher, G. Kurat (1979): Violan revisited: Mn-bearing omphacite and diopside. Tschermaks mineralogische und petrographische Mitteilungen 26, 187-201.

Levien, L. and Prewitt, C.T. (1981) High pressure structural study of diopside. American Mineralogist: 66: 315-323.

Rossi, G., Smith, D.C., Ungaretti, L., and Domeneghetti, M.C. (1983) Crystal-chemistry and cation ordering in the system diopside-jadeite: a detailed study by crystal structure refinement. Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology: 83: 247-258.

Richet, P. and Bottinga, Y. (1984b) Anorthite, andesine, wollastonite, diopside, cordierite, and pyrope thermodynamics of melting, glass transitions, and properties of the amorphous phases. Earth and Planetary Science Letters: 67: 415-432.

Johnson, K.T.M., Dick, H.J.B., and Shimizu, N. (1990) Melting in the oceanic upper mantle: an ion microprobe study of diopsides in abyssal peridotites. Journal of Geophysical Research: 95: 2661-2678.

Raterron, P. & O. Jaoul (1991), High-temperature deformaton of diopside single crystal, 1., Mechanical data: Journal of Geophysical Research, B, Solid Earth and Planets: 96: 14277-14286.

Knoche, R., Dingwell, D.B., and Webb, S.L. (1992a) Non-linear temperature dependence of liquid volumes in the system albite-anorthite-diopside. Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology: 111: 61-73.

Knoche, R., Dingwell, D.B., and Webb, S.L. (1992b) Temperature-dependent thermal expansivities of silicate melts: The system anorthite-diopside. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta: 56: 689-699.

Harlow, G.E. (1996) Structure refinement of a natural K-rich diopside: the effect of K on the average structure. American Mineralogist: 81: 632-638.

Courtial, P., Téqui, C., and Richet, P. (2000) Thermodynamics of diopside, anorthite, pseudowollastonite, CaMgGeO4 olivine, and åkermanite up to near the melting point. Physics and Chemistry of Minerals: 27: 242-250.

Internet Links for Diopside

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  • Raman and XRD data at RRUFF project
  • American Mineralogist Crystal Structure Database
  • Diopside details from Handbook of Mineralogy (PDF)
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    Localities for Diopside

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