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Diopside

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Formula:
CaMgSi2O6
Colour:
light to dark green, blue, brown, colourless, snow white, grey
Lustre:
Vitreous, Dull
Hardness:
5½ - 6½
Specific Gravity:
3.22 - 3.38
Crystal System:
Monoclinic
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.

May incorporate OH groups (e.g., Yang et al., 2015).

Visit gemdat.org for gemological information about Diopside.


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Classification of DiopsideHide

Diopside and its relation to other pyroxenes (after Morimoto et al, 1989)

Previous petrological nomenclature of clinopyroxenes from basaltic magmas (after Poldervaart & Hess, 1951)


Approved, 'Grandfathered' (first described prior to 1959)
9.DA.15

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

65 : INOSILICATES Single-Width,Unbranched Chains,(W=1)
1 : Single-Width Unbranched Chains, W=1 with chains P=2
14.6.12

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

Physical Properties of DiopsideHide

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

Optical Data of DiopsideHide

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°
Max Birefringence:
δ = 0.030
Image 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 DiopsideHide

Formula:
CaMgSi2O6
Common Impurities:
Fe,V,Cr,Mn,Zn,Al,Ti,Na,K

Age informationHide

Age range:
Jurassic : 160.8 ± 2.4 Ma to 160.8 ± 2.4 Ma - based on data given below.
Sample ages:
Sample IDRecorded ageGeologic TimeDating method
1160.8 ± 2.4 MaJurassicSm-Nd
Sample references:
IDLocalityReference
1Shizhuyuan Mine, Dongpo ore field, Yizhang Co., Chenzhou Prefecture, Hunan Province, ChinaYuan, S., Peng, J., Hu, R., Li, H., Shen, N., & Zhang, D. (2008) A precise U–Pb age on cassiterite from the Xianghualing tin-polymetallic deposit (Hunan, South China). Mineralium Deposita, 43(4), 375-382.

Crystallography of DiopsideHide

Crystal System:
Monoclinic
Class (H-M):
2/m - Prismatic
Space Group:
B2/b
Setting:
C2/c
Cell Parameters:
a = 9.746 Å, b = 8.899 Å, c = 5.251 Å
β = 105.79°
Ratio:
a:b:c = 1.095 : 1 : 0.59
Unit Cell 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.

Crystallographic forms of DiopsideHide

Crystal Atlas:
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Diopside no.135 - Goldschmidt (1913-1926)
3d models and HTML5 code kindly provided by www.smorf.nl.

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X-Ray Powder DiffractionHide

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Radiation - Copper Kα
Data Set:
Data courtesy of RRUFF project at University of Arizona, used with permission.

Synonyms of DiopsideHide

Other Language Names for DiopsideHide

Varieties of DiopsideHide

BaikaliteA morphological variety of ferroan diopside, approaching 'salite'.
Originally described in the 19th century from the Slyudyanka phlogopite mines area, Lake Baikal, Irkutskaya Oblast', Transbaikalia (Zabaykalye), Eastern-Siberian Region, Russia.
Blue DiopsideUsually granular diopside forming monomineral zones in magnesium skarns in some regions of Prebaikalie. Nature of blue colouration is uneven.
CanaaniteA white variety of diopside.
Chromian DiopsideA green, Cr-bearing variety of diopside.
DiallageA variety (diopside-hedenbergite-augite solid-solution member of the pyroxene group) specifically showing prominent {001} parting and originally supposed to be a distinct species. Occasional misidentifications included orthopyroxene, e.g Metalloidal Diall...
LavroviteA green vanadium-bearing variety of diopside.
Maclurite (of Nuttall and Torrey)Seybert (1822):"bears a strong resemblance to hypersthene"
"The color of this mineral in the mass, is dark brown, approaching to brownish black; when pulverized is grey; luster metallic. Slightly translucent of the edges. Form [of crystals] indeterminate...
SaliteAn obsolete name for a pyroxene that would now be classified as diopside.
SchefferiteA brown manganoan variety of Diopside that frequently shows pronounced parting (IMA Subcommittee on Pyroxenes 1988).
TraverselliteOccasionally alters to amphibole, and pseudomorphs amphibole.
Originally reported from Traversella Mine, Traversella, Chiusella Valley, Canavese District, Torino Province, Piedmont, Italy.
ViolanPurple to blue purple diopside or omphacite colored by manganese. Mauve colored diopside, owing its color to titanium, is not violan. Because of the bright purple color, violan is probably manganian and not manganoan. cf. Johannsennite.
Zinc-SchefferiteA brown zincian and manganoan diopside.

Relationship of Diopside to other SpeciesHide

Other Members of this group:
AegirineNaFe3+Si2O6Mon. 2/m : B2/b
Aegirine-augite(NaaCabFe2+cMgd)(Fe3+eAlfFe2+gMgh)Si2O6Mon. 2/m : B2/b
Augite(CaxMgyFez)(Mgy1Fez1)Si2O6Mon. 2/m : B2/b
ClinoenstatiteMgSiO3Mon.
ClinoferrosiliteFe2+SiO3Mon.
EsseneiteCaFe3+[AlSiO6]Mon. 2/m : B2/b
HedenbergiteCaFe2+Si2O6Mon. 2/m : B2/b
JadeiteNa(Al,Fe3+)Si2O6Mon.
JervisiteNaSc3+Si2O6Mon.
JohannseniteCaMn2+Si2O6Mon. 2/m : B2/b
KanoiteMn2+(Mg,Mn2+)Si2O6Mon. 2/m : P21/b
KosmochlorNaCrSi2O6Mon.
KushiroiteCaAl[AlSiO6]Mon. 2/m : B2/b
NamansiliteNaMn3+Si2O6Mon.
NatalyiteNaV3+Si2O6Mon.
Omphacite(NaaCabFe2+cMgd)(AleFe3+fFe2+gMgh)Si2O6Mon. 2/m
PetedunniteCa(Zn,Mn2+,Mg,Fe2+)Si2O6Mon.
Pigeonite(CaxMgyFez)(Mgy1Fez1)Si2O6Mon. 2/m : P21/b
SpodumeneLiAlSi2O6Mon.
Forms a series with:

Common AssociatesHide

Associated Minerals Based on Photo Data:
Grossular579 photos of Diopside associated with Grossular on mindat.org.
Calcite279 photos of Diopside associated with Calcite on mindat.org.
Hessonite182 photos of Diopside associated with Hessonite on mindat.org.
Vesuvianite179 photos of Diopside associated with Vesuvianite on mindat.org.
Clinochlore158 photos of Diopside associated with Clinochlore on mindat.org.
Epidote144 photos of Diopside associated with Epidote on mindat.org.
Titanite81 photos of Diopside associated with Titanite on mindat.org.
Andradite76 photos of Diopside associated with Andradite on mindat.org.
Quartz71 photos of Diopside associated with Quartz on mindat.org.
Albite66 photos of Diopside associated with Albite on mindat.org.

Related Minerals - Nickel-Strunz GroupingHide

9.DA.05Donpeacorite(Mn2+,Mg)Mg[SiO3]2Orth.
9.DA.05EnstatiteMgSiO3Orth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m) : Pbca
9.DA.05FerrosiliteFeSiO3Orth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m) : Pbca
9.DA.10ClinoenstatiteMgSiO3Mon.
9.DA.10ClinoferrosiliteFe2+SiO3Mon.
9.DA.10KanoiteMn2+(Mg,Mn2+)Si2O6Mon. 2/m : P21/b
9.DA.10Pigeonite(CaxMgyFez)(Mgy1Fez1)Si2O6Mon. 2/m : P21/b
9.DA.15Augite(CaxMgyFez)(Mgy1Fez1)Si2O6Mon. 2/m : B2/b
9.DA.15EsseneiteCaFe3+[AlSiO6]Mon. 2/m : B2/b
9.DA.15HedenbergiteCaFe2+Si2O6Mon. 2/m : B2/b
9.DA.15JohannseniteCaMn2+Si2O6Mon. 2/m : B2/b
9.DA.15PetedunniteCa(Zn,Mn2+,Mg,Fe2+)Si2O6Mon.
9.DA.15DavisiteCaScAlSiO6Mon. 2/m : B2/b
9.DA.15KushiroiteCaAl[AlSiO6]Mon. 2/m : B2/b
9.DA.15GrossmaniteCaTi3+ AlSiO6Mon. 2/m : B2/b
9.DA.20Aegirine-augite(NaaCabFe2+cMgd)(Fe3+eAlfFe2+gMgh)Si2O6Mon. 2/m : B2/b
9.DA.20Omphacite(NaaCabFe2+cMgd)(AleFe3+fFe2+gMgh)Si2O6Mon. 2/m
9.DA.25AegirineNaFe3+Si2O6Mon. 2/m : B2/b
9.DA.25JadeiteNa(Al,Fe3+)Si2O6Mon.
9.DA.25JervisiteNaSc3+Si2O6Mon.
9.DA.25KosmochlorNaCrSi2O6Mon.
9.DA.25NamansiliteNaMn3+Si2O6Mon.
9.DA.25NatalyiteNaV3+Si2O6Mon.
9.DA.30SpodumeneLiAlSi2O6Mon.

Related Minerals - Dana Grouping (8th Ed.)Hide

65.1.3a.2HedenbergiteCaFe2+Si2O6Mon. 2/m : B2/b
65.1.3a.3Augite(CaxMgyFez)(Mgy1Fez1)Si2O6Mon. 2/m : B2/b
65.1.3a.4JohannseniteCaMn2+Si2O6Mon. 2/m : B2/b
65.1.3a.5PetedunniteCa(Zn,Mn2+,Mg,Fe2+)Si2O6Mon.
65.1.3a.6EsseneiteCaFe3+[AlSiO6]Mon. 2/m : B2/b

Related Minerals - Hey's Chemical Index of Minerals GroupingHide

14.6.1CombeiteNa2Ca2(Si6O18)0.5Trig. 3m (3 2/m) : R3m
14.6.2PectoliteNaCa2Si3O8(OH)Tric. 1 : P1
14.6.3Pectolite-M2abcNaCa2[HSi3O9]
14.6.4DenisoviteCa2(K,Na)Si3O8(F,OH)2Mon.
14.6.5TokkoiteK2Ca4[Si7O18(OH)](OH,F)Tric.
14.6.6MountainiteKNa2Ca2[Si8O19(OH)] · 6H2OMon. 2/m : P2/b
14.6.7RhodesiteKHCa2Si8O19 · 5H2OOrth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m)
14.6.8MiseriteK1.5-x(Ca,Y,REE)5(Si6O15)(Si2O7)(OH,F)2 · yH2OTric.
14.6.9ÅkermaniteCa2Mg(Si2O7)Tet. 4 2m : P4 21m
14.6.10MonticelliteCaMgSiO4Orth.
14.6.11MerwiniteCa3Mg(SiO4)2Mon. 2/m : P21/b
14.6.13Tremolite☐{Ca2}{Mg5}(Si8O22)(OH)2Mon. 2/m : B2/m

Fluorescence of DiopsideHide

Bright blue-white (white coloured material)(SW UV)

Other InformationHide

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

Diopside in petrologyHide

References for DiopsideHide

Reference List:
Sort by Year (asc) | by Year (desc) | by Author (A-Z) | by Author (Z-A)
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., Appleman, D.E., Papike, J.J. (1969) Crystal-chemical characterization of clinopyroxenes based on eight new structure refinements. MSA Special Paper: 2: 31-50.
Ghose, S., Schindler, P. (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., Shigeho, S., Prewitt, C.T., Papike, J.J. (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., Prewitt, C.T. (1981) High-pressure structural study of diopside. American Mineralogist: 66: 315-323.
Rossi, G., Smith, D.C., Ungaretti, L., 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. (1984) 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., 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., Jaoul, O. (1991) High-temperature deformation of diopside single crystal, 1., Mechanical data. Journal of Geophysical Research, B, Solid Earth and Planets: 96: 14277-14286.
Knoche, R., Dingwell, D.B., Webb, S.L. (1992) 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., Webb, S.L. (1992) 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., 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.
Yang, Y., Xia, Q., Zhang, P. (2015): Evolution of OH groups in diopside and feldspars with temperature. European Journal of Mineralogy: 27(2): 185-192.

Internet Links for DiopsideHide

Localities for DiopsideHide

This 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.

Locality ListShow