Dioptase is a copper cyclosilicate mineral that is intense blue-green or emerald-green in coloration. It has a vitreous to sub-adamantine lustre, a transparent to translucent diaphaneity, and falls at a 5 on the Moh’s hardness scale, which happens to be the same hardness as tooth enamel. It has perfect cleavage in three directions and a brittle tenacity, making it a fragile mineral that must be handled carefully. Exposure to ultrasonic cleaning will cause it to shatter. It exhibits a trigonal crystal system, forming six sided crystals terminating in rhombohedrons. Dioptase was used in statues dating back to around 7200 BC, mistaken as a jackpot emerald deposit in the late 18th century, and eventually determined to be new to science and given a name by a french mineralogist in 1797. It tends to be found in desert regions around copper sulfide mineral deposits, as a secondary mineral. It is an uncommon mineral. It has been found in Kazakhstan, Russia, Zaire, Chile, Namibia (which contains the finest specimens), Congo-Brazzaville, Argentina, and deserts of the southwestern US. The minerals exhibit locale-specific differences. Dioptase can be used by painters as a ground pigment, and it is also desirable to mineral collectors. It is sometimes cut into emerald-like gems.
Dioptase is a powerful stone that is said to resonate with the heart chakra, emitting energies of healing, calming, love and power. It is a heart stone on multiple levels, with claims of it strengthening the physical muscle, providing support for the emotional heart, and awakening one’s spiritual heart. Meditating with this mineral in complete relaxation just may detoxify your mind and open your inner eye, allowing you to recognize your higher purpose. It is good to have around in that it is said to assist people emotionally who are struggling through hard times in life, such as death, divorce, or other family trauma. It may facilitate healing of emotional wounds of the past and promote forgiveness. It may also promote understanding and acceptance of the many roles that we play in our own lives, as well as the roles that others play, and release us from recurring damaging emotional patterns (such as a need to control others). Wearers claim that it is a good stone to have if you feel stuck in life, unable to move past some road block from your past, as it is believed to help you recognize situations that do not serve you well and let go of them, and the karma associated with them. Thus, you will be able to embody your fullest potential in the present, in joy and peace.
On a physical level, dioptase has been used to heal mental stress, headaches and migraines, high blood pressure, addictions, fatigue and pain, heart burn, meniere’s disease, and a range of liver and heart issues. Pairing it with red aventurine is said to help people who have been diagnosed with cancer.