Peridot is the birthstone of the month of August that strongly divides the opinions of gem enthusiasts around the globe. Essentially, there are two types of people in the world: those who love peridot gemstone and those who hate it. As such, it’s rather underrated at the jewelry market even though it boasts a unique lime green color and is rather inexpensive. The following list of interesting peridot facts might make this precious stone a lot more appealing.
What Is Peridot?
- Peridot is a gem derived from the mineral olivine, also known as chrysolite.
- The abundance of peridot gems can be found around the volcanoes and under volcanic rocks.
- Aside from the volcanic areas, some types of peridot gemstone have also been found in meteorites. This finding is very rare and unique, making this particular peridot specimen rather special.
- The biggest sources of peridot in the world are located at Arizona’s reservation San Carlos, Myanmar (Burma), China, and Sri Lanka. Larger quantities can also be traced to areas of Pakistan and Kenya. However, peridot mined on the USA territory typically differs in color and size from the same gems mined at other localities in the world, often being lighter and smaller.
The History of Peridot
- Peridot is not the only birthstone associated with the month of August. It shares this title together with Sardonyx ever since 1912.
- Peridot is a French word but its origin is in the Arabic language. The term is derived from the Arabic “faridat”, which simply means gem.
- This particular gem is one of the oldest mined stones, dating all the way back to ancient Egypt around 1500 BC. What’s more, ancient Egyptians had their own way of describing peridot, calling it the “gem of the sun.” The largest source of peridot at the time was the island Topazios, now called Zeberget. It’s interesting that the ancient Egyptians only committed to mining this stone at nighttime. It was believed that the light green color of this gemstone could only be truly visible in the moonlight. Of course, this practice might also be due to the fact that the island was crawling with snakes during the day.
- Due to its greenish color, peridot has often been confused with emeralds throughout history, and sometimes even topaz. For instance, large stones used as décor at Shrine of the Three Kings at the Cologne Cathedral weigh more than 200 carats, which is why they were initially confused with emeralds, even though they’re actually peridot gems. There’s also a possibility that Cleopatra’s love of emerald jewelry were actually peridot jewels.
- It’s thought that Napoleon presented a peridot jewel to Josephine as a token of his everlasting love.
The Meaning of Peridot
- Peridot stone meaning differs around the globe. For instance, peridot is thought to represent the tears of Pele, the goddess of fire, and volcanoes in Hawaii.
- Another peridot meaning is tied to its brighter shade of green. For instance, Romans thought it to be a special kind of an “evening emerald” as its hues remained bright even at night.
- There are also legends associated with the peridot gemstone meaning. It was believed that this gem could keep the evil spirits at bay. And when it comes to the peridot birthstone meaning, it’s thought to bring strength and positive energy. Another myth speaks of peridot as an aid to a happy marriage.
- Peridot can be found in only one color, which is green. However, the shade of green can differ from lighter to darker greens, with yellowish, olive, and lime hues. Most valuable peridot stones feature a deep forest green shade with a slightly yellowish tone without brown hues.
- There’s no synthetic alternative to peridot but there are imitations, commonly made of natural tourmaline or glass.
- There are two main peridot grades, A and B, the first referring to gems with clear yellowish-green shade free of brown tones, and the second to very pale gems that have brown tones.
- Peridot gems that weigh less than 4 carats are rather inexpensive. However, the heavier the stone is (going over 4 carats), the more expensive and rarer it gets.
- Due to its softness, peridot is best used in jewelry pieces that won’t be worn all the time. At our custom jewelry Miami store, we often use bezel settings to keep the stone safe and protected.
In case you’ve found a new love of peridot gemstone, feel free to check out our offers at Santayana Jewelry. You can browse our unique and innovative pieces online, or pay us a visit at our Miami store.