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Dioptase

This page kindly sponsored by Mariusz Oleszczuk
Formula:
CuSiO3 · H2O
System:
Trigonal
Colour:
Emerald Green, blue-green
Lustre:
Vitreous
Hardness:
5
Name:
Named in 1797 by Hauy from the Greek for "through" and "to see" in allusion to the visibility of internal cleavage planes.
Bright emerald-green modified rhombohedral crystals, usually less than 0.75 cm in size.

Visit gemdat.org for gemological information about Dioptase.

Classification of Dioptase

Valid - first described prior to 1959 (pre-IMA) - "Grandfathered"
9.CJ.30

9 : SILICATES (Germanates)
C : Cyclosilicates
J : [Si6O18]12- 6-membered single rings (sechser-Einfachringe), without insular complex anions
Dana 7th ed.:
61.1.3.1
61.1.3.1

61 : CYCLOSILICATES Six-Membered Rings
1 : Six-Membered Rings with [Si6O18] rings; possible (OH) and Al substitution
14.2.1

14 : Silicates not Containing Aluminum
2 : Silicates of Cu
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First Recorded Occurrence of Dioptase

Year of Discovery:
1797
Geological Setting of First Recorded Material:
A secondary mineral in the oxidized zones of copper deposits.

Occurrences of Dioptase

Geological Setting:
In the oxidized zone of some copper deposits.

Physical Properties of Dioptase

Vitreous
Diaphaneity (Transparency):
Transparent, Translucent
Colour:
Emerald Green, blue-green
Streak:
Green
Hardness (Mohs):
5
Hardness Data:
Measured
Tenacity:
Brittle
Cleavage:
Perfect
Perfect on {1011}
Fracture:
Irregular/Uneven, Conchoidal
Density:
3.28 - 3.35 g/cm3 (Measured)    3.296 g/cm3 (Calculated)

Crystallography of Dioptase

Crystal System:
Trigonal
Class (H-M):
3 - Rhombohedral
Space Group:
R3
Cell Parameters:
a = 14.566Å, c = 7.778Å
Ratio:
a:c = 1 : 0.534
Unit Cell Volume:
V 1,429.15 ų (Calculated from Unit Cell)
Z:
18
Morphology:
Long to short prismatic [0001], dominant forms {1120}, and {0221}, {1341}.
Twinning:
On {1011}, uncommon.

Crystallographic forms of Dioptase

Crystal Atlas:
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Dioptase no.1 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
Dioptase no.17 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
3d models and HTML5 code kindly provided by www.smorf.nl.

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Crystal Structure

Structure
Reference
Ribbe P H Gibbs G V Hamil M (1977) A refinement of the structure of dioptase, Cu6[Si6O18]*6H2O Note: sample is from Reneville, Congo. American Mineralogist 62:807-811.

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More Crystal Structures
Click here to view more crystal structures at the American Mineralogist Crystal Structure Database
X-Ray Powder Diffraction:
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Radiation - Copper Kα
Data Set:
Data courtesy of RRUFF project at University of Arizona, used with permission.
X-Ray Powder Diffraction Data:
d-spacingIntensity
7.29 (80)
4.90 (40)
4.06 (40)
2.60 (100)
2.44 (40)
2.11 (50)
1.506 (40)
1.420 (50)

Optical Data of Dioptase

Type:
Uniaxial (+)
RI values:
nω = 1.652 - 1.658 nε = 1.704 - 1.710
Max Birefringence:
δ = 0.052
Image shows birefringence interference colour range (at 30µm thickness) and does not take into account mineral colouration.
Surface Relief:
High
Pleochroism:
Weak
Comments:
O>E

Chemical Properties of Dioptase

Formula:
CuSiO3 · H2O
Essential elements:
All elements listed in formula:

Relationship of Dioptase to other Species

9.CJ.05BazziteBe3Sc2(Si6O18)
9.CJ.05BerylBe3Al2(Si6O18)
9.CJ.05IndialiteMg2Al3(AlSi5O18)
9.CJ.05StoppaniiteBe3Fe23+(Si6O18) · H2O
9.CJ.10Cordierite(Mg,Fe)2Al3(AlSi5O18)
9.CJ.10Sekaninaite(Fe,Mg)2Al3(AlSi5O18)
9.CJ.15aCombeiteNa2Ca2(Si6O18)0.5
9.CJ.15bImandriteNa12Ca3Fe23+(Si6O18)2
9.CJ.15aKazakoviteNa6Mn2+Ti(Si6O18)
9.CJ.15cKoashviteNa6(Ca,Mn)(Ti,Fe)Si6O18 · H2O
9.CJ.15aLovozeriteNa2Ca(Zr,Ti)(Si6O12)[(OH)4O2] · H2O
9.CJ.15aTisinaliteNa3H3(Mn,Ca,Fe)TiSi6(O,OH)18 · 2H2O
9.CJ.15aZirsinaliteNa6(Ca,Mn2+,Fe2+)Zr(Si6O18)
9.CJ.15aLitvinskiteNa2(◻,Na,Mn)ZrSi6O12(OH,O)6
9.CJ.15aKapustiniteNa5(Na,Mn2+)<1Zr(H2Si6O18)
9.CJ.25BaratoviteKCa7(Ti,Zr)2Li3Si12O36F2
9.CJ.25KatayamaliteKLi3Ca7Ti2(SiO3)12(OH)2
9.CJ.25AleksandroviteKCa7Sn2Li3Si12O36F2
9.CJ.35KostyleviteK2Zr(Si3O9) · H2O
9.CJ.40PetarasiteNa5Zr2(Si6O18)(Cl,OH) · 2H2O
9.CJ.45Gerenite-(Y)(Ca,Na)2(Y,REE)3Si6O18 · 2H2O
9.CJ.50OdintsoviteK2Na4Ca3Ti2Be4Si12O38
9.CJ.55MathewrogersitePb7FeAl3GeSi12O36(OH,H2O)6
9.CJ.60PezzottaiteCs(Be2Li)Al2(Si6O18)
14.2.2ShattuckiteCu5(Si2O6)2(OH)2
14.2.3PlancheiteCu8(Si8O22)(OH)4 · H2O
14.2.4GilaliteCu5Si6O17 · 7H2O
14.2.5ChrysocollaCu2-xAlx(H2-xSi2O5)(OH)4 · nH2O (x < 1)
14.2.6LitidioniteCuNaKSi4O10
14.2.7ReinhardbraunsiteCa5(SiO4)2(OH,F)2
14.2.8CuprorivaiteCaCu[Si4O10]
14.2.9KinoiteCa2Cu2(H2O)2[Si3O10]
14.2.10StringhamiteCaCu(SiO4) · H2O
14.2.11ApachiteCu9Si10O29 · 11H2O

Other Names for Dioptase

Pronounciation of Dioptase

Pronounciation:
PlayRecorded byFrom
Jolyon & Katya RalphUnited Kingdom

Other Information

Electrical:
Pyroelectric
Health Risks:
No information on health risks for this material has been entered into the database. You should always treat mineral specimens with care.

References for Dioptase

Reference List:
Traite de Minéralogie: III: 477.

Doklady Akademii Nauk SSSR: 239: 842-845.

Soviet Physics – Doklady: 23: 215-217.

Internet Links for Dioptase

Specimens:
The following Dioptase specimens are currently listed for sale on minfind.com.

Localities for Dioptase

map shows a selection of localities that have latitude and longitude coordinates recorded. Click on the symbol to view information about a locality. The symbol next to localities in the list can be used to jump to that position on the map.
Mineral and/or Locality  
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