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Mineralpedia Details for Dioptase

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Dioptase

Dioptase

Named after the Greek words dia mesou, which means “through,” and optasia, for “vision,” in reference to the ability of the viewer to look through the mineral and see the internal cleavage directions. Found in oxidixed copper deposits, Dioptase is a somewhat uncommon mineral that can be found in localities in Kazakhstan, Romania, the United States, Argentina, Chile, the Congo Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Namibia, Angola, Zimbabwe, and many other min or localities. Dioptase is pyroelectric and will generate a charge in response to temperature changes.

Ref. Handbook of Mineralogy, Anthony et al (1995) and MSA at http://www.handbookofmineralogy.org/pdfs/dioptase.pdf

Formula
CuSiO3·H2
Crystal System
Trigonal 
Crystal Habit
Massive, Cryptocrystalline, Crystalline - Coarse 
Cleavage
Good, None, None 
Luster
Vitreous (Glassy) 
Color
dark blue green, emerald green, turquoise 
Streak
green 
Class
Trigonal - Rhombohedral 
Fracture
Conchoidal 
Hardness
WebMineral
View Dioptase 
Mindat
View Dioptase 

Dioptase from Harquahala mine, La Paz Co., Arizona, United States

Dioptase
            from Harquahala mine, La Paz Co., Arizona, United States

The center group is the darker green Malachite which is 5mm across. The glassy green, prismatic crystals are the Dioptase which covers the rest of the face.

Click thumbnail images for larger view.

Dioptase from Tsumeb mine, Tsumeb, Namibia

Dioptase
            from Tsumeb mine, Tsumeb, Namibia

Preferential growth of glassy green micro Dioptase crystals on white Calcite rhombs to 1cm.

Click thumbnail images for larger view.

Dioptase from Christmas mine, Gila Co., Arizona, United States

Dioptase
            from Christmas mine, Gila Co., Arizona, United States

Fibrous crystals of Dioptase to 0.4mm with Kinoite.

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