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.