Diopside (Cat's-Eye) | Gemopedia

The term cat's eye, or chatoyancy, is used to describe a phenomenal optical property in gemstones, in this case diopside. The effect, when present, appears as a bright, narrow slit similar to the pupils in the eyes of your favorite feline. This phenomenon is caused by parallel fibrous or needle-like inclusions that interfere with the passage of light through the crystal, scattering and reflecting light back to the viewer as a thin line.
Colors
Bluish Green To Yellowish Green To Dark Green, Black

Diopside (Cat's-Eye) Classification

Common Name

Diopside (Cat's-Eye)

Species

Diopside

Variety

Cat's-Eye Diopside

Colors

Bluish Green To Yellowish Green To Dark Green, Black

Alternate Names

Gemstone Groups

Pyroxene

Key Separations

RI, spectrum and might show birefringence blink

Comments

Diopside (Cat's-Eye) Optical Properties

Transparency

Semitransparent - Opaque

Refractive Index

1.675-1.701
Tolerance:(+0.029/-0.010)

Birefringence

0.024-0.03

Optic Character

Biaxial

Optic Sign

Positive

Polariscope Reaction

Doubly Refractive (DR)

Fluorescence

SWUV: Inert
LWUV: possibly green

CCF Reaction

Pleochroism

Dichroic, weak to strong light green or yellowish green and dark green

Dispersion

Strength: moderate fire Value: 0.02

Comments

Diopside (Cat's-Eye) Chemistry & Crystallography

Chemical Name

calcium magnesium silicate

Chemical Formula

CaMgSi2O6

Synthesis

Crystal System

Monoclinic

Classification

Silicate

Nature

Natural

Crystallinity

Crystalline

Comments

Diopside (Cat's-Eye) Characteristic Physical Properties

Hardness

5-6

Streak

White

Specific Gravity

3.22-3.4 Typical:3.29

Toughness

Poor

Inclusions

Black needle-like magnetite inclusions that might be magnetic, metallic like inclusions and liquid inclusions.

Luster

Vitreous

Stability

Fair

Fracture

Conchoidal, Uneven

Cleavage

Good, in two directions

Comments

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