By Carleton Varney Special To The Palm Beach Daily News
Ever heard of chrome diopside? It may sound odd but for those of you who love gemstones and color, I can tell you that chrome diopside is among the newest gems on the market and definitely worth a look.
Remember when tanzanite was all the rage, shortly after the gemstone was discovered in Tanzania? It's sort of the same story here. Chrome diopside is a beautiful green, more sparkly in color than emerald. And it's becoming one of the most popular gemstones today.
Discovered in 1988, chrome diopside was sourced from only one location- eastern Siberia. The glowing green color of the gemstone came into it's own afteer the fall of the Berlin Wall, when Russia granted chrome diopside Class 1 export status. And suddenly collectors had a new treasure to own.
If you compare chrome diopside with other green tourmaline or green garnet, you'lll find the color of the green more brilliant and, I think, far more magical. Since I am a lover of all things green- and I use gemstone goods in my work- I'm anxious to find and purchase large geode of chrome diopside. I'd place it on a coffee table or on a cabinet shelf for decoration and conversation piece. Then the geode would always be therefor me to pick up and enjoy the sparkle.
In fact, I've long been partial to such geodes as decorative accessories. You've probally seen on the decorating market bookends of Brazilian geode rock crystal. "Cathedral" geodes of amethyst crystal- perhaps a foot tall-are not only beautiful to look but celebrate the beautiful colors of gems that grow inside the earth.
There are geode mineral shops across the world where fine specimans can be found along with fossils and the like. I recall visiting the Baltic a few years ago buying amber, a resin that goes back centuries, in shops along the coast of Lithuania and Latvia.
I'm a colored stone collector. i adore beautiful larimar from the Dominican Republic. And now my newest favorite is chrome diopside, which I'm told can be mined only during the Siberian summer. If you love colored gems, may I suggest you take a look at chrome diopside, a stone visually on par with emerald, tourmaline and garnet, but in my opinion offering all of us a prettier and stronger green.