different names: dioptas, dioptaz, dioptásios, dioptasa, Suidōkō, Qīng tóng kuàng
Natural pigment, suitable for icon painting (egg tempera) and watercolor painting without additional grinding.
Dioptase is a rare copper cyclosilicate mineral with a vivid, dark emerald-green color. It has a transparent to translucent diaphaneity with a glassy luster and hardness of Apatite (5 Mohs' scale). It is very fragile and as a mineral specimen it should be handled very carefully. It is very attractive for mineral collectors and spiritual guides. It is often used in iconography and by artists as a pigment used in different painting mediums. Its popularity and depleted deposits makes it harder and harder to find which is reflected in the price. Our mineral comes from the Kazakhstan field, Altyn-Tyube.
The pigment preparation starts by crushing the mineral in a jaw crusher. The gravel is then washed, and carefully milled in a water bath, in the ball mill, to prevent over-grinding. It is first milled with big media then milling with smaller, denser, media follows. Then the powder is washed and separated by levigation. The fine powder is repeatedly washed to remove a milky solution to create a vibrant, very fine pigment.The resulting pigment powder retains a very vivid color, much stronger than Chrysocolla.
See the difference in the comparison image.