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stardiopsideStar diopside cabochons.  Imaged used with permission by Blue Turtles: http://www.blueturtles.com.au/fact-files/black-star/

I had planned to do aventurine today because it resembles amazonite and it seems I can’t get enough of the green stones (I checked and they are 25% of my Gemstone of the Week posts).  Yet I woke up this morning and was in a star diopside kind of mood.

Diopside gets its name from the Greek word di meaning two, and opsis, meaning vision, thought to be from how the crystals tend to form in pairs or the appearance of prisms inside the stones.  My first thought about star diopside was whether she was kin to chrome diopside (a green stone, of course) and indeed she is a relation.  Diopsides are the children of volcanoes, and as lava cools, crystals of diopside (CaMG(Si2O6)) take shape.  In special cases, magnetite is also present, and forms microscopic needles inside the diopside crystals.  These needles align themselves in parallel, and we see them as a four-pointed star reflected in strong light.  The circumstances needed to produce star diopside are unique, and India is home to the vast majority of the material.

On the metaphysical side of things, star diopside is supposed to be very calming.  It is called the “crying stone” because it is said to bring out the tears a person needs to heal.  Think of her as a grandmother giving you a hug and an attentive ear over a cup of tea when you’ve had a bad day.  And just as you would treat your grandmother gently, star diopside can lose its shine quickly when worn frequently.  Star diopside is also the gem of academics, particularly those in the mathematics and sciences.  Perhaps that was why I thought of this stone after going to bed and waking up worrying about all of the public health homework I had to do today.