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Diopside

Diopside

The diopsides pictured here are of a unique variety discovered in 2001 in the mountains of Xinjiang Province in China. The name Tashmarine was given to this variety of diopside by the company that first brought the gem to market. Tash is the word for stone in many Central Asian languages, and Marine means ocean in Latin, so Tashmarine means ocean-colored stone. Tash is also the nickname of Natasha, the daughter of the donors. Tashmarine is a medium dark bluish-green to slightly yellowish-green color, usually very transparent. It has not been treated; the color is natural. The fancy cut gems given to the Smithsonian range in size from 1.04 carats to 40.26 carats along with examples of the natural crystals (not all are pictured here). The largest recorded Tashmarine is 70.56 carats. The gift of Tashmarines to the National Gem Collection has been a wonderful addition as they are the only diopsides in the Collection from this locality.


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