Boyd, F. R. Geophysical Laboratory, Washington, DC.
Last reviewed:March 2021
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The monoclinic pyroxene mineral which in pure form has the formula CaMgSi2O6. Diopside has no known polymorphs. Its structure consists of chains of SiO4 tetrahedrons in which each silicon ion shares an oxygen with each of its two nearest silicon neighbors. These chains are linked together by calcium (Ca) and magnesium (Mg) ions in octahedral coordination. Diopside forms gray to white, short, stubby, prismatic, often equidimensional, crystals with (110) cleavages intersecting at 87° (see illustration). Small amounts of iron impart a greenish color to the mineral.
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