In case you missed it ….
Peridot is the birthstone for August and the 15th anniversary gemstone. Here are two very interesting facts about peridot. Some peridot is quite ancient, it has been found in pallasite meteorites, which are remnants of our solar system’s birth. It is estimated those stones are approximately 4.5 billion years old. In 2005, peridot was found in comet dust brought back from the Stardust robotic space probe. Yep, that is the truth.
Peridot is the gem variety of the mineral olivine which is the most abundant material in the earth’s mantle. It is the only gemstone along with diamonds to form below the earth’s crust. Its chemical composition includes iron and magnesium, and iron is the cause of its attractive yellowish green colors. Its high iron content makes up at least 10% of its mass.The gem often occurs in volcanic rocks called basalts, which are rich in these two elements. Peridot can be found in lava flows and solidified molten rock all over the world.
The color range for peridot is narrow, from a brownish green to yellowish green to pure green. Yellowish green is the most common peridot color seen in jewelry while the most valuable color is pure, grass green.
The ancient Egyptians mined peridot on the Red Sea island of Zabargad, which is about 35 miles off the Egyptian coastal port of Berenica. The remote island has produced peridot for over 3,500 years and is the source for many of the large, fine peridots found in the world’s museums. The island goes by many names, St. John, Island of Serpents and as the Greeks called it, the Island of Topaz.
The Egyptians called peridot the “gem of the sun”. It is a gemstone that has always been associated with light. The word peridot come from the Arabic word “faridat,” which means “gem”. Some believed that it protected its owner from “terrors of the night,” especially when it was set in gold.
Some historians believe that Cleopatra’s famous emerald collection might actually have been peridot. People in medieval times continued to confuse peridot with emerald. For centuries, people believed the fabulous 200 carat gems adorning the shrine of the Three Holy Kings in Germany’s Cologne Cathedral were emeralds. They are, in fact, peridots.
Peridot also appears in the Bible as one of the stones on Moses’ list of twelve stones, which were to be placed on the “breastplate of judgment,” worn by the high priest Aaron. Another biblical reference to peridot can be found in a similar list compiled by St. John in the first century, describing his vision of the heavenly city of Jerusalem in the Book of Revelation. As I stated before, this gemstone has history!
Verdura peridot and blue topaz, two stone earclips. Photo courtesy of Verdura.
Schlumberger Bird on a Rock peridot brooch. Photo courtesy of Tiffany & Co.
Faberge emotion ring with emeralds, peridots, demantoid garnets and diamonds. Photo courtesy of Faberge.
A Seaman Schepps wood, gold, peridot and freshwater pearl starfish brooch. Photo courtesy of Doyle New York.
Antique carved peridot cameo and diamond brooch/pendant. Photo courtesy of Lang Antiques.
Emerald cut peridot and pave diamond earrings. Photo courtesy of 1st dibs.
Bulgari one of a kind, peridot, sapphire and garnet earrings. Photo courtesy of Bulgari.
Van Cleef & Arpels peridot and diamond ring. Photo courtesy of Doyle New York.
Goshwara peridot and rubellite necklace. Photo courtesy of Goshwara.
I love the color, how about you?