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History of dioptase

The name of the mineral has Greek roots and is formed from two words: dia – through, oplikos – visual, which together acquires the meaning “I see through”. The motivation for the name is connected with the physical characteristic of the stone – its transparency.

The history of dioptase is closely connected with the history of emerald. Due to the external similarity, the mineral was confused with a precious gem for many centuries. So dioptase until the end of the XVIII century was known as “copper emerald” or “pseudo-emerald”.

There is an older name that is no longer in use. The mineral was named after the Bukhara merchant “ashirite”. In the 90s of the XVIII century, the merchant Ashir Zaripov sold several minerals under the guise of precious stones. When the samples were studied in St. Petersburg, they found out that the sold minerals were not emeralds. The Russian chemist Tovy Lovitz worked on the study of dioptase. He found that the sample was copper silicate and had a lower Mohs hardness than emerald. But the French mineralogist Rene Gayuy finally put an end to the issue, highlighting dioptase as an independent mineral.

Physiochemical properties


Dioptase is a copper silicate with a copper oxide content of 51%. In addition, iron impurities in the amount of up to 1% are sometimes observed in the composition of the mineral.

The color of dioptase varies within the green and blue spectrum. The emerald shade is the most common, and the blue-green color is the least common. Dioptase has a glassy luster, and sometimes mother-of-pearl.

The main difference between dioptase and emerald is hardness. Dioptase has a Mohs hardness index of 5 units, and emerald – up to 8 units. With little effort, scratches can be left on the surface of the dioptase.

Place of Birth

The largest deposits of copper emerald are formed during the weathering of the rock in a dry and hot climate in areas with a high percentage of copper sulfide oxidized areas. Therefore, dioptase belongs to rare minerals and is mined only in Kazakhstan, Italy, Russia, Zaire, Congo, Namibia, Chile, Peru and the USA.

How to distinguish natural dioptase from a fake

Formation from dioptase crystals. Sample Marshall Sussman. Photo: Jeff Scovil

Although dioptase is a rare and expensive mineral, it is almost never counterfeited on the modern market. Until recently, dioptase itself was used to create fake emeralds, but now they are easily distinguished from each other, based on the fragility index.

Healing properties

In lithotherapy, procedures with dioptase products are recommended for diseases of the throat or bronchi. It is believed that dioptase has a positive effect on the functioning of the cardiovascular system, helping with problems with low or high blood pressure.

They also note another therapeutic aspect of the effect of dioptase, not on the physical, but on the psycho-emotional sphere. With prolonged contact with the mineral, a person begins to feel more calm and balanced. The feeling of anxiety and fear of problems disappears.

The magical properties of the stone

Gold necklace with dioptase druse. Photo: Grima

Dioptase is endowed with the ability to enhance the mental capabilities and intuition of a person, which helps to quickly make the right choice in a difficult situation. This is the amulet of students and psychologists. In ancient times, it was believed that a copper emerald allows you to read the thoughts and intentions of people, which made it a favorite amulet of merchants and scammers.

How to care for dioptase jewelry

Pendants with dioptases in a silver frame. Photo: Sage Goddess

Dioptase has a high brittleness factor and a relatively low density. When caring for jewelry and dioptase products, it is important to be careful and avoid too much mechanical stress. On the surface of dioptase, scratches easily remain, and from a slight blow, it can break into pieces.

Do not use strong abrasives to clean dioptase products, as the stone is easily soluble in acids. The best way to clean the surface of the mineral is running water and a soft cloth.

Who will benefit from dioptase

Dioptase will be useful for older people. It will help maintain stable blood pressure and relieve bouts of anxiety or fear.

The mineral will become a reliable talisman for a student or a person of science who is faced daily with a large amount of information and the need to quickly solve important and complex problems.

Which zodiac signs are suitable

Golden ring with dioptase. Photo: Bijouterie du Marais

The easiest way to find mutual understanding with the mineral is representatives of Cancers, Virgos and Lviv. It is believed that open-minded, but at the same time ambitious people will be able to get the most out of working with dioptase. But for those who are prone to adventures and fraud of any kind, you should think twice before buying Dioptase. It is not recommended to be worn by representatives of Capricorn, Aries and Scorpio.

What stones are combined with

This rich green mineral is easily mistaken for an emerald, but the difference between them is fundamental. In 1799, the Russian chemist Johann Lovitz discovered that dioptase is a hydrous copper silicate (hence its second name “copper emerald”), and the French researcher Hayuy gave it a name that, in Greek, means “seeing through”. The stone has another name – ashirite, formed on behalf of the Central Asian merchant Ashir Zaripov, who first found the gem in Kazakhstan at the end of the 18th century.

Dioptase helps in business matters, brings good luck to its owner and increases motivation. The ability of the stone to enhance the wearer’s mind and its reputation as an indispensable assistant in making the right decisions will bring many benefits to businessmen, students and lawyers. Copper emerald can be worn solo or in an ensemble with other minerals. The magical properties of the crystal are enhanced by its “twin” emerald. Turquoise, jasper, chalcedony and amber also resonate with it. The combination with amethyst and stones of the element of Fire is unfavorable.

What metals are combined with

It is believed that a pendant, brooch or necklace with dioptase is best worn at chest level, where it will fully reveal its healing potential, namely, help with diseases of the cardiovascular system and respiratory tract. The best frame for such jewelry will be copper and its alloys, since this metal belongs to Venus, who favors all green minerals. Zinc and tin also conduct well the energy of ashirite. From precious metals it is better to choose gold.

If you dreamed of dioptase

Dioptase is a rather mercantile stone. Attracting profit and career take-off, he completely ignores the owner’s personal life and his emotional affection. This fact is also reflected in the interpretation of dreams with ashirite – the most popular promises to receive a large inheritance associated with exactly the same big troubles.

How much does dioptase cost

Dioptase is…

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