Peridot facts…

The Greeks referred to peridot as “the gold stone” and ancient Egyptians called it “the gem of the sun”, so although most prized when found in deep green tones (often the case with the Burma material), the stones vivid and unique yellowish-green color has been admired for centuries.

The mineral olivine when in gemstone form is called peridot, the birthstone of August. Before identified as peridot, the jewel was often mistaken for emerald. However today we know that its distinct hue is strong indicator helping gemologist’s separate the two stones at a glance.  Another way to distinguish peridot from any other gemstone is by their unique “lily-pad” inclusions.

Although 80-95% of the world’s supply comes from Arizona, peridot is a stone with a rich world history.

Here are some interesting facts about the most famous peridot from around the world.

  • For centuries, people believed the fabulous 200-ct. gems adorning the shrine of the Three Holy Kings in Germany’s Cologne Cathedral were emeralds but they are in fact peridot.
  • Some historians believe that Cleopatra’s famous emerald collection might actually have been peridot.
  • One of the largest peridot stones to ever come from Pakistan is a 46.16ct modified barrel cut that was donated to the Smithsonian in 2010.
  • The largest known cut peridot in the world, also kept in the Smithsonian, weighs 310.00cts.

Crackling Calmness poem

Crackling Calmness

Blasting switchblade sun
built up orange bright
bending colors to awkward sides
shuffling rays of light

Taken back
among peaceful places
Crackle glazed
depths away
treacherous seas
casting out
narrow minded

City noises harbor quiet nights
Neon signs flashing sinful air
fireflies thrive off moonlight glow
burning out
ember’s risky cares

Crackling calmness
Infinite storm
rugged stance



captured still
distressed in form
this beauty
I find

(crackling calmness by susan brady)




August Birthstone: Peridot

Peridot belongs to the forsterite-fayalite mineral series, which is part of the olivine group. It is one ofPeridot the “idiochromatic” gems, meaning its color comes from the basic chemical composition of the mineral itself, not from minor impurities, and therefore will only be found in shades of green. As a matter of fact peridot is one of the few gemstones found in only one color.

The name peridot most probably derives from the Arabic word “faridat” for gem. It’s also called chrysolith (derived from the Greek word “goldstone”) and olivine, because of its color and membership to the olivine group.
Historically the volcanic island Zabargad (St. John) in the Red Sea, east of Egypt, was the most important deposit that was exploited for 3500 years. Today’s main deposits are in Arizona, China, Vietnam and Pakistan. The Pakistani peridot in particular is very fine, and a new find in Pakistan in the mid-1990’s has made peridot available to a wider market.

Peridot colors
Peridot is one of the few gemstones, which exist only in one color. Its color agent is iron that accounts for the deep green color with that slight golden hue. Chemically Peridot is just an iron-magnesium-silicate, and the intensity of color depends on the amount of iron contained. The color as such can come in any variation from yellow-green and olive to brownish green.

Peridot is not especially hard – 6.5-7 on the Mohs scale — and tends to burst under great stress and therefore is sometimes metal-foiled. Peridot has no resistance to acids.

An intense, deep green color is the favorite. The best colored peridot has an iron percentage of less than 15% and includes nickel and chromium as trace elements that may also contribute to the best peridot color.

Peridot looks best in daylight. Its brilliant green sparkle does not change in artificial light.

Peridot is commonly a transparent stone. Inclusions can create a cloudy nature in larger stones. Peridot cat’s eye and star peridot (showing four rays of light) are known, but a rarity.

Table and step cuts are popular. Sometimes peridot gets a brilliant cut especially if to be set in gold.

Peridot location and deposits
Historically the volcanic island Zabargad (St. John) in the Red Sea, east off Egypt, was the most important deposit that was exploited for 3500 years, abandoned for many centuries, rediscovered only around 1900 and has been completely exploited since. The most important deposits nowadays are found in Pakistan (Kashmir region and Pakistan-Afghanistan border region) and is regarded as being of the finest quality. Beautiful material is also found in upper Myanmar and Vietnam. Other deposits have been found in Australia (Queensland), Brazil (Minas Gerais), China, Kenya, Mexico, Norway (north of Bergen), South Africa, Sri Lanka, Tanzania and the United States (Arizona and Hawaii).
There are no treatments known that could enhance the quality of peridot.

World-famous Peridot
Peridot is mentioned in the Bible under the Hebrew name of “pitdah”. Peridot gems along with other gems were probably used in the fabled Breastplates of the Jewish High Priests, artifacts that have never been found. Legend has it that peridot was the favorite gemstone of Cleopatra. Crusaders brought peridot to Central Europe where it is found in many medieval churches such as the Cologne Cathedral. In the Baroque era the deep green gemstone experienced another short flourishing, before it became forgotten again.
Napoleon used peridot to assure the empress Josephine of his undying love and admiration, which, of course, happened before he had their marriage annulled.
Throughout time, peridot has been confused with many other gemstones, even emerald. Many “emeralds” of royal treasures have turned out to be peridots.
The largest cut peridot was found on the island Zabargad, weights 319ct and belongs to the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C.
In Russia there are some cut peridots that came out of a meteorite, which came down in eastern Siberia in 1749.



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