The Mineral Dioptase
Large dioptase mineral with tantalising greenish turquoise colour. Mistakes have been made throughout history with regards to the correct identification of dioptase due to its colour being so similar to emerald, the green variety of the mineral beryl.
The name dioptase comes from the Greek words "dia" meaning "through" and "optazein" meaning "visible" which refers to the fact that dioptase crystals can be translucent to transparent although with that said, they can also be cloudy which can give the impression that they're actually opaque.
Dioptase is a relatively soft and brittle mineral which grades 5 on Mohs scale of mineral hardness hence it's rarely used as a gemstone. To put that into perspective it has the same hardness as tooth enamel.
This large mineral comes from the Tsumeb mine in Namibia which is home to some of the world's finest dioptase.
Weight (grams) : 162
Size (cms) : 6.7 x 4.5 x 5.2