Published March 2016 • Updated July 2022 • Read Time: 6 minutes
Dioptase is a rare cyclosilicate mineral found in deserts near Copper deposits. It is often found alongside Chrysocolla near the surface of the Earth. Dioptase can be a dark blue-green or a vivid-green depending on the location. Transparent crystals can be easily confused with Emerald and Aquamarine. Humans have been using this crystal for art and spirituality since the Stone Age. Today, crystal healers say that Dioptase’s energy embodies the concept of “Namaste” (that which is Holy inside of me, greets that which is Holy inside of you). It is a wonderful stone for yogis and anyone who seeks to truly embody our Highest Self and connect with the Divine within.
Dioptase’s energy embodies the concept of “Namaste” (that which is Holy inside of me, greets that which is Holy inside of you). It helps us to see people and relationships as an opportunity to explore the Sacred, and to become our Highest Self. Dioptase encourages us to continually question, explore, and be willing to change. It charges us to become more spiritually evolved and empowered in every area of our life. Dioptase helps us to sit in the here and now, and allow the past to rest. It is only in the NOW that we can embody our full potential and step firmly into our power.
Sagittarius and Scorpio
Emotional Healing Properties
Dioptase links our heart and spirit, encouraging self-awareness and teaching the incredible power of forgiveness. It is a wonderfully joyful stone! It helps us to be more content in our current life and to see the beauty in it. It also makes us eager to improve our lives, and to understand that change happens one step at a time. Dioptase sings to our hearts, telling us that today is a perfect opportunity to move forward in a positive direction; to laugh more, to love more, to seek peace, to take personal responsibility for our own contentment, and to know how we can help others along their path. Dioptase shows us our own amazing capabilities and helps us to realize that we already have everything we need inside of us already to achieve our goals and dreams. Dioptase also teaches us the incredible power of forgiveness, showing us that whenever we forgive someone, we are in turn empowered by the experience.
Mental Healing Properties
Dioptase helps us to view our world more pragmatically, creatively, and compassionately. In particular, Dioptase helps us to let go of the past and pay more attention to our present and to the future we want to create. Dioptase helps us to shake off old roles that no longer serve us and to release victim mentality. In its place, Dioptase encourages us to look at where we are right now and to use whatever tools are at hand to create a life of pleasure and fulfillment. Dioptase shows us who our true friends and allies are and encourages us to seek their help and offer our own assistance. Dioptase stimulates our creativity, helping us to find new solutions to vexing problems. When our life is generally peaceful, Dioptase’s creative energy can stimulate an abundance of ideas and give us the wherewithal to bring them into being.
Physical Healing Properties
Dioptase is most often used by metaphysical healers to treat physical diseases that are believed to originate from emotional pain and distress. For example, a person who was verbally abused who develops hearing loss, or someone who develops low libido after discovering their partner cheated on them. Dioptase helps us to go right to the root of the problem and heal the heart and find forgiveness and compassion, after which the physical body can heal itself.
Dioptase has been found in significant deposits in Angola, Argentina, Chile, DMR Congo, Iran, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Morocco Namibia, Peru, Russia and the United States
Mining and Treatments
Typically mined from primary deposits that still have their original relationship with the host rock. In some cases it is mined as part of a large-scale operation for Copper and other precious metals, such as the Tsemeb Mine in Namibia. In other cases, it is a small-scale affair.
All Dioptase on the market is fully natural and has been enhanced only by cutting, tumbling, and polishing.
Dioptase is a Cyclosilicate mineral. Silicates are minerals which contain the elements Silicon (a light gray shiny metal) and Oxygen (a colorless gas). Together, these two elements form a tetrahedron – a shape similar to a pyramid – with a Silicon atom in the center and Oxygen atoms at each of the four corners. These tetrahedra connect with other chemical structures, in six different ways, to form various minerals and rocks. One way the tetrahedra can connect is in circles, and it is to this group that Dioptase belongs.
Dioptase is a rare mineral which forms mostly in desert areas as a secondary mineral in Copper Sulfide mineral deposits. It occurs in the oxidized zone where the liquid silica reacts with dissolved Copper, creating Dioptase and/or Chrysocolla.
Dioptase’s energy works well with its “friends” – crystal associates formed in the same geological environment. Try it in combination with Chrysocolla, Fluorite, and Malachite
Uneven to conchoidal
Hardness – Mohs Scale
Vitreous to greasy
Transparent to translucent
History of dioptase
Dioptase is so similar to Emerald, in color and in mineralogy, that it was often mistaken for the precious green gem. As such it was not recognized as a distinct mineral until relatively recently and was not included in early lapidaries, texts that describe gemstones and their powers.
The oldest record for Dioptase actually dates all the way back to the Neolithic period. An archaeological dig in ‘Ain Ghazal, Jordan dates back to 7200 BCE and is one of the largest and best known Neolithic sites in the Middle East. Among the many artifacts found are three life-size plaster statues, known as “Micah,” “Hefia,” and “Moses,” whose eyes have been rimmed in Dioptase. These statues were found in what is believed to be one of the oldest temples ever constructed. They give us a glimpse into the prehistoric religions of mankind, thousands of years before the first great civilizations arose or writing was invented. Thirty human figurines have been found in ‘Ain Ghazal, along with many cattle figurines and other wild or semi-domestic animals. The humans statues are either bodiless heads or headless bodies, with no obvious gender. Many of them appear to have been deliberately broken, possibly for spiritual or emotional reasons. The motivation for decorating some of the statues with Dioptase is also unknown and could have been metaphysical or strictly aesthetic. While Dioptase hasn’t been found in the region, the area was once well known for its Chrysocolla mines, and presumably the Dioptase would have been found nearby.
Statues from ‘Ain Ghazal, Jordan
The first historical mention of Dioptase was after the founding of the Altyn Tübe Copper mine in Kazakhstan. In 1797, the miners mistook the Dioptase for Emeralds and immediately sent some to Moscow for analysis and as a present for Czar Paul. Mineralogists quickly determined that the beautiful stones were a new gemstone, since Dioptase has a hardness of just 5, while Emerald has a much stronger 8. Since these early examples were particularly fine specimens, they were named Dioptase from the Greek words for see-through (dia “through” and optos “visible”).
Julie Abouzelof is the owner of Moonrise Crystals and an advocate for responsibly sourced gems and minerals. Her first career was in education teaching history, geology and anthropology, as well as working with special-needs students. She is now a heart-centered entrepreneur who encourages mindfulness and positive action to heal ourselves and the world. Julie lives in Hawaii with her lover and a little parrot named Darwin.