Chrome Diopside and Bronzite Beads
Diopside is a monoclinic pyroxene mineral. Chrome diopside includes chromium, giving it a rich green color. Due to the deep forest-green color, it is sometimes referred to as Siberian emerald. Chrome Diopside in limited quantity can be found in several localities, but a large commercial quality deposit discovered in Siberia in 1988 made this gemstone readily available to the market. Since then, Pakistan has also become a significant producer of Chrome Diopside. Chrome Diopside is an affordable gemstone with an intense green color, rivaling the more expensive Tsavorite and Green Chrome Tourmaline.
It is a relatively soft stone, with a Mohs hardness of 5.5–6.5, so should be treated with care. Clean with warm soapy water and a soft cloth. Chrome Diopside is associated with the heart chakra, and mystics say that it helps you open your heart to love, and be more connected to Gaia.
Bronzite (not always available) is also part of the pyroxene group. Bronzite is a hypersthene, and is more properly called enstatite, or when it has more iron, ferrosilite. This form of pyroxene is chemically "weathered" resulting in an opaque stone with a submetallic luster, especially on its cleavage surfaces. Weathering on the hypersthene occurs due to moisture and temperature conditions within the igneous rock, metamorphic rock or meteorite where the stone is found. Bronzite often contains inclusions of highly reflective minerals, such as hematite and goethite, which enhance the beautiful bronze-like effect when polished (hence its name). Some beads also exhibit a cat's-eye effect. Bronzite ranges from greenish-black to brown and has medium hardness.
The stone is found in Syria, Austria, South Africa, and the U.S.A. (Montana). Bronzite is believed to facilitate a feeling of certainty when goal-setting and help individuals take control of their actions and decisions. It is said to promote "correct" or "principled" behavior and help dispel restlessness. Physically, many say it helps the body assimilate iron and increases acidity within the body.