Black Star Diopsides are mainly from India.
Black Star Diopside is rated at 5.5 on Moh's Scale of Hardness and though it is
suitable for jewelry purposes, care should be taken with this stone for it is relatively soft and brittle. This opaque stone is generally black in color but can occasionally
be found with shades of green. Black Star Diopside exhibits a star like phenomenon
known as Asterism. These stones contain inclusions in the form of needles that align
to produce the white 4-rayed star. It is unique in this sense because it is the
only gemstone to exhibit a 4-rayed star. Sometimes needle-like surface crystalline
inclusions are visible, particularly when viewed from below.
Black Star Diopsides are occasionally confused with Black Star Sapphires. However,
the sure-fire way to
differentiate the two stones is by viewing the rays of the star. A Black Star Diopside
will exhibit four rays
whereas the Black Star Sapphire will exhibit six (occasionally twelve), rays. This
difference is caused by the physical make-up of each of the stones and the presence
of a different number of crystal faces for the light to refract off of.
Common Cuts :
Regardless of whether or not a Diopside initially displayed a star, once it has
been faceted, it will no longer offer up a star. For this reason, when examining
Diopsides, gemstone cutters must always take the time to look closely at the stone
and check to see whether it has enough properly orientated inclusions to form a
star. If it does, the Diopside will be cut into a Cabochon shape, the only shape that allows the stone to display the beautiful asterism, or star.
Routine Enhancements :
There are no known treatments for Black Star Diopside.
Care & Cleaning :
Black Star Diopside is best cleaned using warm
soapy water and a soft brush. Diopside
is a fairly soft and brittle gemstone so care should be taken to avoid any sharp
blows or scratches. As with most
gemstones, Black Star Diopsides should be kept
from prolonged exposure to excessive heat and household chemicals that could
damage the stone. Always keep your Diopside jewelry
in a fabric-lined box away from other harder jewelry items so as to avoid scratching.