This gorgeous green gemstone is often mistaken for emerald. Although it doesn’t come with the emerald’s price tag the dark olive green Peridot is every bit as impressive. Its color makes Peridot an attractive gemstone for jewelry and the unique vivid green color added by Peridot jewelry to your collection makes this gemstone a must have (and a great gift!). Click on a piece to compare prices from many retailers or read on for more information…
Peridot is a form of the mineral Olivine but the only one of value as a gemstone. Deposits are formed well below the earth’s surface at a minimum of 20 miles underground. Volcanic activity has made this gemstone accessible. Iron, and occasionally traces of nickel and chromium content change its basic green color into a range of different hues.
Color, Clarity and Cut
This August birthstone ranges from yellow green, olive to brown green. The best stones for you to buy are transparent with few or no inclusions. There are examples of cat’s eye and star Peridot where inclusions produce the effect but they are rare.
Peridot is a fairly brittle gemstone so jewellers need to take extra care to avoid it shattering while because of its sensitivity to pressure. As a result, it is often produced in Peridot gemstone jewelry within a mesh like setting.
Larger sized gemstones are widely available and some stones of over 100 carats have been cut into fascinating shapes as one offs. The common cuts for smaller stones are traditional using the crystal shape of the stone to produce faceted Peridot, round or oval being fairly common.
It is a gemstone that was well known to the Ancients and was especially popular in Egyptian times. Those deposits were abandoned for centuries and only mined once again in the 20th Century until the deposits were exhausted.
Peridot is currently found in Brazil, Australia as well as parts of Africa and Asia with arguably the best deposits in Pakistan, Myanmar and Vietnam. The discovery of deposits in Pakistan in the 1990s made the gemstone more available to the mass market. Those deposits were in areas at over 4000m so mining is only possible in the short summer months; despite these constraints there are now sufficient supplies to allow you to search for a particular size and cut to match every taste.
History & myth
The Egyptians regarded the gemstone as a talisman and Peridot jewelry was thought to ward off anxiety. This effect was supposed to have manifested itself by making people more articulate and hopefully promoted happy marriage. If set in gold, it was thought that Peridot helped to ward off evil spirits and even today is attributed with several healing properties. However, with all of the above said, the main reason to buy something like a Peridot gemstone ring; is the stunning beauty of the olive green stone.
Whilst there is no proof either way, the “emeralds” of Cleopatra could well have been Peridot such was the popularity of this gemtone in Egypt. In addition there were several images of Peridot on the breastplates of Jewish High Priests but no examples have ever been found.