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does anyone know a more precise locality for violan diopside from "East Transbaikalia, Russia"

Posted by Frank K. Mazdab  
Frank K. Mazdab February 11, 2019 08:46AM
Hi all,

I picked up a small cabochon of pale lavender diopside (violan) from a Russian mineral dealer in Tucson who listed the locality as only "East Transbaikalia". As I'm planning to prepare a thin section of this sample and subsequently add it to my online thin section collection (and then eventually include mineral composition data), I'd prefer to have a more precise locality if at all possible... a particular mine would be great (I can't imagine the material is too widespread), but even just a town or a district would be an improvement over the rather large geographic region I have now. I've even checked a few jewelry and "metaphysics" websites and the material is similarly only identified as being from "Transbaikalia". Does anyone with experience in this region have any familiarity with where this material may be coming out of? Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.

Keith Compton February 11, 2019 10:48AM
I have no idea if this is useful but the following papers may be of interest:

Sharygin, V., Vladykin., N.V.(2014). Mineralogy of cryolite rocks from Katugin massif, Transbaikalia, Russia. 30th International Conference on “Ore Potential of Alkaline, Kimberlite and Carbonatite Magmatism”, at Antalya-Moscow, Volume: Abstract Book, p. 166-168.
[DOI 10.13140/2.1.2031.3602]

Nimis, P., Zanetti, A., Dencker, I., Sobolev, N.V. (2009) Major and trace element composition of chromian diopsides from the Zagadochnayakimberlite (Yakutia, Russia): Metasomatic processes, thermobarometry and diamond potential Major and trace element composition of chromian diopsides from the Zagadochnayakimberlite (Yakutia, Russia): Metasomatic processes, thermobarometry and diamond potential. Lithos, 112, 397–412.

In addition:
Gemdat lists diopside from Sludyanka (Slyudyanka), Baikal area, Buriatia (Buryatia) Republic, Transbaikalia (Zabaykalye).

Frank K. Mazdab February 11, 2019 12:32PM
Thanks for the suggestions, Keith!

My guess from those titles is probably that those would more likely be green Cr-bearing examples rather than lilac/purple violan examples, which I think are reportedly omphacitic and possibly Mn-bearing (at least by comparison to the well-known Italian violan example from Prabornaz), but those references would certainly offer me a better understanding of the broader geology of the area, which right now is close to zero.
Pavel Kartashov February 11, 2019 02:32PM
In Russia real violanes never were known. This therm used here for light blue diopside skarn rocks.

Such rocks outcrops are known along the northern shore of Baikal lake - so they are located in Prebaikalie not Transbaikalie (= the southern shore of the lake and more far to SE).
The main locality for such blue diopside is Yoko-Dovyrensky Massif where it was long time mined by trest "Sibkvartzsamotsvety" from Soviet times. In smaller quantities such material is known at Tazheran massif and Slyudyanka mines.
Photo of your cab could to help greatly.

If your cab is really lavender, I am afraid, that you receive anhydrite rock from Norilsk group deposits or from Northern Yakutia.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/11/2019 02:36PM by Pavel Kartashov.
Frank K. Mazdab February 11, 2019 05:19PM
Thanks Pavel! That looks just like my material. My color vision is terrible, so what I mistakenly thought was "lavender" almost certainly really is blue.
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