Tashmarin is a light green chromiferous stone that originally comes from the Uyghur region in Xinjiang province, more precisely from the Tien-Shan Mountains (literally meaning : « Celestial Mountains »). Tashmarin has a less saturated colouration because of its lower chromium concentration. Violins are blue stones with a purple tinge. Their colouring comes from manganese, which is present in large quantities. These stones originate from northern Italy, from the village of Saint-Marcel in the Aosta Valley. Star diopside comes from India. It is so named because of the four rays on its surface. Some are named “black star” because of their black or even greenish-black colouring. These stones therefore have a kind of star on their surface: a vertical and a horizontal branch. It is said that some of these minerals are magnetic. Be aware that if you find one, you will have to cut it or have it cut into a cabochon (an important polish to create a domed surface) to make the star appear.
Russian diopside stones have a darker and more intense colouring than tashmarin, which sometimes has a slightly bluish tint. This touch of blue gives the stone a fineness and depth similar to the much better known and highly rated gemstone. Note that this type of stone is very rare and is rich in chromium, hence its colour. Its origin is just as interesting as its colour and beauty: this stone comes from Eastern Siberia, one of the coldest regions of the northern hemisphere, and more precisely from Yakutia. Its similarity with tsayorite and other stones allowed it to penetrate the Russian market in no time, as early as the late 1980’s.
After the fall of the USSR, this stone was exported around the world and is now as popular as alexandrite or diamond, as it is considered a cheaper alternative to other stones of the same hue. Yakutia is also the region where 99% of Russian diamonds come from, and since this mineral is very present in the earth’s mantle and often found in diamond mines, its presence often indicates that of precious stones. This mineral was first described by the Brazilian José Bonifacio de Andrada e Silva in 1800. However, if these minerals are too large, their colour becomes darker, and is therefore no longer as intense and bright as emerald, so they are limited to stones of two carats or less.
Nevertheless, an expert cut can correct the problem, but this is quite rare. You should also know that this stone is easily scratched and is quite fragile: if you want to make a jewel, have it mounted as earrings or a pendant rather than a ring to keep it as long as possible. New mines have since been discovered, especially in Pakistan, but it seems that the most beautiful stones still come from Siberia. However, in spite of a significant presence of these stones, the bad climatic conditions make mining difficult, which makes production scarce and raises prices. Some cultures are used to say that its colouring is associated with peace and tranquillity: in the evening, whoever sleeps with this stone on his forehead ensures a good sleep and pleasant dreams. Other myths may say that this stone fell from the tree of life, so tradition has it that the deceased ones are buried with it to ensure their reincarnation.
As mentioned above, the first to describe this stone was a mineralogist, José Bonifácio de Andrada e Silva, who named it. This type of stone can be found all over the world: in Brazil, the United States, Canada, Finland, Italy, Kenya, Madagascar, South Africa, Sri Lanka, India, Pakistan and Burma. To be more precise on its composition, these stones are composed of calcium and manganese silicates. Their colouring comes from chromium or iron, depending on the origin of the stone. Iron is present in those originating from Africa, hence their colouring turning yellow. However, some may be of different colours: white, grey, black, brown, blue, purple or even colourless. Its chemical composition is CaMgSi2O6. It is therefore a Calcomagnesian silicate with a hardness ranging from 5.5 to 6.5 on Mohs scale.
Large crystals, up to 50 cm in size, can be found, but they are rarely fully exploitable to create gem quality stones. It has a white line and a vitreous lustre. Its name comes from the Greek « Di » (a Greek god) meaning two and « opsis » meaning face, aspect or view, literally « two faces » or « two aspects », to underline the different aspects and views the stone offers on its faces, especially when photographed. Indeed, a photo of it reveals different views of the stone.
Russian diopside stones were originally called chromiferous diopside, but this was considered inelegant, hence the change. These stones have also long been called Russian emeralds because of their colouring, but since they are not part of the beryl family, they cannot be named as such. Since this stone is difficult to recognize, it is called many names: serbelite, acantoide, alalite, coccolith, dekalbite, fassaite, kokkolith, leucaugite, maclurite, malacolite, mussite, prothéite, pyrgome, white pyroxene, granuliform pyroxene, greenish-grey pyroxene or sahlite. You may find diopside under the name of « tear stone », because this stone is supposed to cause the coming of tears that can relieve sadness and purify sorrows. Some people consider it the birthstone of the month of May, along with emerald, but this is not recognized by everyone. For it to be considered pure, it must be “pure to the eye”, that is to say that at a distance of 15 cm, there is no imperfection or inclusion visible to the naked eye. This stone being very fine, the bigger its size the more it loses its brilliance. That’s why most gem quality stones do not exceed two carats or even one carat. It is extremely rare to find good quality stones above five carats, and they are extremely expensive.
Most of the time, when someone talks about diopside, they are talking about chromiferous, because it is the most sought-after stone on the market. This stone has been on the market since the late 1980’s, so it’s been on the market for a short time (compared to other gemstones). Jewellers sell it mostly as a precious stone and not as a semi-precious stone. These stones are mostly offered in round, brilliant and stepped shapes. Other shapes can be offered, but the stone’s price will be higher. If you have to choose one, you must pay attention to its purity and colouring, as well as to its shape and general appearance. Although it may seem counterintuitive, a small stone will often have a higher quality because its colour will be deeper and more intense. These stones are very beautifully mounted as a jewel, or as a bouquet, or simply as a companion stone. The minerals known as « star black » are also sought after for their resemblance to the star black sapphire. Be therefore careful with counterfeits !
Finally, being a rather rare stone, violine is more and more sought after for its rare coloration. Varieties of diopsides :
In lithotherapy, diopside stones are often used to soothe people who may have suffered trauma in childhood because it allows them to step back from events and let go in order to succeed in living in the present. It is also useful during emotional shocks or to succeed in making an important decision, in case of a contractual commitment, for example. If you practice meditation, this stone could be useful to you: it allows you to free your mind and to take a step back on your life. These minerals are also stones that promote intuition and compassion. It can therefore be used to alleviate psychological disorders. It helps to calm emotional shocks, stimulating the faculties of analysis and intelligence when applied to the heart chakra.
It allows you to take root in the present moment and thus stop worrying about the past and its traumas, sadness, etc. It is therefore interesting to use it in the evening, once the day is over, to let go of all the accumulated stress. Those who use diopsides could also improve their divinatory gifts and visions, and make choices more easily.
These minerals have an effect on health in general: they prevent the appearance of disorders, especially in blood. They regulate blood’s alkalinity and acidity and improve the condition of the red and white blood cells in the body. They reduce platelet and cholesterol problems. They also help strengthen bones by facilitating recalcification. This stone is also known to be very effective on people who may have metabolic disorders and to treat them very quickly