A collector's gemstone that is very rare to see set into jewellery, this exquisite tiny little deep green natural dioptase came to me in its rough crystal form. Through careful shaping and smoothing by hand, I managed to get it into the general circular shape I felt would best bring out its beauty, though with dioptase you can't go too far as it's quite a temperamental and delicate stone to work with. After a careful final fingertip polish, it was securely enclosed in hand textured solid sterling silver.
I adore working with rare natural gemstones such as dioptase, and I felt such a burst of pure joyous energy as I gently and securely wrapped it in sterling silver, using ancient primitive inspired metal forming techniques. This happy energy comes through in the design and feel of the pendant; it's beautifully understated, but flows with nature inspired swirls and curious personality too, mesmerizing all who see it.
I've attached this one of a kind pendant on to a solid 925 sterling silver chain so you can wear it straight away, and as this is a handmade artisan item, the photos show you the exact item you'll receive.
Pendant size (including bail): tiny small, 10mm x 7mm
Necklace Chain Length: 47cm (18.1/2 inches)
Gemstone Size: 4mm round (approx, tiny freeform cabochon)
Gemstone Treatment: untreated, natural
Gemstone Origin: Democratic Republic of Congo
Metal: solid 925 sterling silver
Technical: gemstone cut and polished in UK and pendant handmade in UK. No electrical or gas powered machines were used in the creation of this pendant; I'm an artisan who enjoys using hand tools and hand powered ancient-inspired lapidary techniques to cut natural untreated gemstones and make jewellery. (Please note the chain the pendant is attached to is made in Italy).
Dioptase Gemstone Knowledge
Almost impossible to find set into jewellery, dioptase is a rare and vibrant copper mineral known for its stunning and intense emerald-green to bluish-green colour, with crystals generally transparent to translucent.
Dioptase has a high luster but brittle nature, making this beautiful crystal unfortunately quite difficult to cut and polish, let alone set into jewellery. The mineral is believed to gets its name from the Greek words "dia" and "optima," which mean "through" and "appearance," respectively, referencing its strong transparency.
The formation process is quite complex and involves a chemical reaction of copper minerals to the presence of oxygenated water. To begin, primary copper minerals are present in the geological environment. Over time, geological processes lead to the exposure of these primary copper minerals to oxygen in the atmosphere. This oxidation process transforms the primary copper minerals into what are called secondary copper minerals. These oxidized copper minerals undergo leaching, where water containing oxygen and other elements travels through the rock, dissolving and transporting copper ions. The copper ions interact with any silicate minerals in the surrounding rock. Dioptase crystals now have the right conditions to grow as a result of these reactions. The specific conditions, such as temperature, pressure, and the availability of certain elements, influence the crystallization of dioptase, and under suitable conditions, dioptase begin to crystallize, forming its distinctive green crystals.
Dioptase is a beautiful gemstone that is perfect for anyone who wants somethings a little bit different than the more usual green gemstones you see such as emerald or peridot. It's a gem that's adored around the world for it's rarity, and bursts with a truly distinctive deep blue-green shade that is unique to this stone. Whether you are already a collector of stunning minerals, or have simply fallen in love with this fascinating gem, dioptase enchants all who see it, and owning a piece set into jewellery is a rare chance that shouldn't be missed.
Care: When not being worn, it's best to keep dioptase stored in a dark place so it doesn't fade in prolonged natural light, and also away from other gemstones so that it doesn't get scratched. Try and avoid using silver polishes and abrasives near it as they may damage the surface. Being only 5 on the MOHS hardness scale, dioptase is not really suitable for robust every day wear as it may scratch and chip over time (occasional wear is fine).