PERIDOT (the Evening Emerald)
Peridot is a magnesium iron silicate mineral. It is the rare gem variety of Forsterite. Forsterite is a magnesium member of the Olivine Group. Peridot is a Birthstone for August. It is also the stone given to celebrate the 16th year of marriage. It is sometimes called chrysolite.
Peridot is a popular and affordable gemstone and is faceted into many cuts, and used in all forms of jewelry, especially rings, earrings, necklaces, and bracelets. Tumbled beads and cabochons are also fashioned into bracelets and necklaces. The largest cut specimen is a 310-carat (62-gram) specimen in the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, D.C.
Peridot makes a lovely light green to olive-green gemstone. The intensity of color depends on the amount of iron present in the mineral’s chemical structure; the more iron it contains the deeper green it will be. The most desirable color of Peridot is deep olive green with a slight yellowish tint. Deeper olive-green tones tend to be more valuable than lighter colored greens and yellowish-greens. The best-colored specimen has an iron percentage less than 15% and includes nickel and chromium as trace elements that may also contribute to the best color.
History of Peridot
Historically, Peridot jewelry pieces have been found dating back to the Pharaohs in Egypt. The source of ancient Egyptian jewelry is the tiny Egyptian island of St. John (Zabargad) in the Red Sea. This deposit has been totally exhausted. In the Middle Ages, the gemstone was considered a stone that could provide healing powers, cure depression and open the heart. In Hawaii, it once symbolized the tears of Pele,
the volcano goddess of fire who controls the flow of lava.
Peridot belongs to the Orthorhombic Crystal System. Hardness is 6.5 – 7 on the Mohs Scale. Luster is vitreous.
Much of the gem variety comes from igneous environments. These gems are formed deep within the mantle of the earth and are brought to the surface by volcanic activity. Peridot is also found inside meteorites. These meteorites are called Pallasites.
Some 80-95% of the world supply of peridot is produced on the San Carlos Indian Reservation in southern Arizona. The type locality of Forsterite is Mt. Vesuvius, Italy. It is also found in California, New Mexico, and Hawaii in the United States as well as Myanmar (Burma), islands of the Red Sea, Kohistan, Pakistan, Germany, Mexico, and Norway.
(from Book of Stones by Simmons and Ahsian): Peridot can be used to manifest the increase of wealth, an increase of health, and an increase of joy and emotional well-being. It can be used to alleviate the heaviness of the heart and all manner of heart-related imbalances. Peridot can assist one in reestablishing a sense of self-worth if one is plagued by guilt or regret of past deeds.
Article by Bill Jones, Sidewinder Minerals
For more information about Peridot, visit mindat or get involved with our community on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. You can also see what specimens we have at Rockygems.