Most collectors of jewellery know about emeralds. When one says green gemstone, an emerald is the one that comes to mind. But Peridot is another green gemstone worthy of note. Peridot is a gemstone which comes from the mineral olivine. It is considered to be a gemstone for August and is also associated with the Zodiac sign of Libra. Many people also give peridot as a gift for 3rd or 16th wedding anniversaries.
Peridot is a considered a semi-precious gemstone and it is usually found in wonderful hues of translucent greens. In fact, Peridot is one of the few gemstones that comes in basically one colour – green. There is a bit of variety, since the shades of green range from yellow green through to brownish green. The most valuable colour of peridot is a dark olive green.Peridot is the National gem of Egypt. Ancient Egyptians knew it as “the gem of the sun.” It was mined for over 3,500 years on St Johns Island. As late as the 19th Century, the Kedhive of Egypt had a monopoly on the mines. At one point, the island’s exact whereabouts became a mystery for several centuries until being rediscovered in 1905. Joel Aram, from the “Colour Encyclopedia of Gemstones 2nd Edition,” writes “Zabargad is an island in the Red Sea that is often shrouded in fog, making it difficult for ancient navigators to find.This pretty green gem is one of the oldest and the most popular gemstones. Originally, it was found and set into old Egyptian jewellery. The name Peridot is thought to be derived from the Arabic word, faridat, which means gem.
As is the case with all gemstones, those who believe in mystical powers believe that Peridot has some very specific healing powers attributed to it. Many say that it is connected to the heart chakra and that it strengthens breathing, promotes prosperity, growth, and openness.Peridot has long been called “an Evening Emerald,” for under artificial light, the stone glows a brilliant green. Peridot is similar to the emerald but softer in intensity. Peridots of two or three carats are expensive, and a fine eight-carat stone is extremely rare. Any stones beyond eight carats are collectors or museum pieces. One must be careful when cleaning peridot, since rapid heat and steam can cause fractures or breakage in the stone. For this reason, ultrasonic cleaners should be avoided.
The largest cut peridot known weighs 310 carats and was found in the island of Zabargad in Egypt. The cut is on display in the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., where it keeps company with another great treasure – the Hope diamond.
At first glance, the bright celery green colors of peridot are not everyone’s cup of tea, but they really grow on you, especially when you see a good peridot in a flattering mounting. The gem is even more appealing when you realize there is lots of bang for the buck.
Peridot colors range from very light greenish yellows to medium yellowish green. Choose the color that appeals to you the most. The lighter more chartreusey stones are the least expensive. The more green the color, the more valuable. Any brownish tones are undesirable. The larger the stone, the darker and richer the color can be. Since there is good supply of quality peridot, it’s relatively easy to find great matched pairs for earrings without having to pay a premium for matching. The good news is that most Peridot crystals are relatively pure and free from inclusions. As long as the stone has nothing in it’s face up appearance that is distracting from it’s beauty, it can be a good choice.Some peridots have a sleepy appearance because of inclusions or cutting orientation. Choose a bright crisp looking stone unless you prefer the softer look.