AUGUST BIRTHSTONE - PERIDOT


Peridot (pronounced pair-a-doe) is the gem variety of olivine. Peridot is the birthstone for August and the Zodiac stone for the constellation Libra (astrological sources refer to peridot as Chrysolite). Peridot is associated with the values of fame, dignity, protection, and success.

Olivine, which is actually not an official mineral, is composed of two minerals: fayalite and forsterite. Fayalite is the iron rich member and forsterite is the magnesium rich member. Olivine's formula is written as (Mg, Fe)2SiO4 to show the substitution of the magnesium and iron. Peridot is usually closer to forsterite than fayalite in composition although iron is the coloring agent for peridot. 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.

Gem quality peridot comes from the ancient source of Zagbargad (Zebirget) Island in the Red Sea off the coast of Egypt; Mogok, Myanmar (formerly known as Burma); Kohistan, Pakistan; Minas Gerais, Brazil; Eifel, Germany; Chihuahua, Mexico; Ethiopia; Australia; Peridot Mesa, San Carlos Apache Reservation, Gila County, Arizona and Salt Lake Crater, Oahu, Hawaii, USA. The best quality peridot has historically come either from Myanmar or Egypt. But new sources in Pakistan are challenging that claim with some exceptional specimens. The Arizona gem material is of lesser quality, but is far more abundant and is therefore much more affordable. An estimated 80 - 95% of all world production of peridot comes from Arizona. The Myanmar, Pakistani and Egyptian gems are rarer and of better quality and thus quite valuable approaching the per carat values of top gemstones. Possibly the most unusual peridot is that which comes from iron-nickel meteorites called pallasites. Some are actually facetted and set in jewelry.

Peridot is perhaps derived from the French word peritot which means unclear, probably due to the inclusions and cloudy nature of large stones. It could also be named from the Arabic word faridat which means gem. In either case, peridot has been mined as a gemstone for an estimated four thousand years or better, and is mentioned in the Bible under the Hebrew name of pitdah (see Biblestones). Peridot gems along with other gems were probably used in the fabled Breastplates of the Jewish High Priest, artifacts that have never been found. The Greeks and Romans referred to peridot as topazion and topazius respectively and this name was later given to topaz, to end the confusion with the two gems. Historical legend has it that peridot was the favorite gemstone of Cleopatra. Pliny wrote about the green stone from Zagbargad Island in 1500 B.C.. Even until recently jewelers have used the term "chrysolite" (latin for golden stone) in referring to peridot gems for some reason. This term has also been used to refer to other gemstones, of a more golden color.

Zagbargad (Zebirget) Island has been known as St John's Island and was mined for centuries. Before World War I, this island was extensively mined and produced millions of dollars worth of gems. Since then the mining has been off and on and at present is all but nonexistent. Still, specimens from here are available at times and it certainly is a classic mineral locality.

Throughout time, peridot has been confused with many other gemstones, even emerald. Many "emeralds" of royal treasures have turned out to be peridots! And although peridot is distinctly a different shade of green, many jewelers refer to peridot as "evening emerald". Emerald is a dark green as opposed to a yellow green and always contains inclusions. Other green gemstones confused with peridot include apatite (which is much softer); green garnets (have no double refraction), green tourmaline and green sinhalite (both of which are strongly pleochroic), moldavites (no double refraction) and green zircon (significantly heavier). All of these gemstones rarely have as nice a yellow component to their green color as does most peridot, but darker green peridot can be confusing when good crystal form is not discernible.

Peridot is a beautiful gemstone in its own right and is widely popular. Its popularity is said to be increasing yearly and with new finds in Pakistan producing exceptionally well crystallized specimens, peridot can be fun to collect for years to come.

Olivine has the same overall composition as the Earth's mantle, and thus can be considered to be the most common mineral INSIDE the Earth (the 1600 mile wide solid iron core is second). In a sense then, peridot may be by far the most common gemstone. Some volcanoes, including Hawaii, occasionally produce sands which are composed of transparent green grains of peridot. On the Big Island, the sands mostly appear black except on a beach near the southernmost tip of the island.

For natural peridot specimens, see our Peridot Specimens pages.
Peridot Jewelry - Hover over an item for more information
Round Peridot Sterling Silver Vintage-Inspired Ring with Fire Opal & Citrine - Venus Band
Scalloped shells form a fluted pattern on each side of this feminine tapered band, carefully handcrafted in your choice of gems and metals.Only $205.00 at Gemvara
no photoRound Peridot Sterling Silver Vintage-Inspired Ring with Fire Opal & Citrine - Venus Band
$205.00
Gemvara
Round Peridot Sterling Silver Promise Ring with Peridot - Modern Heart Ring
This stylishly-simple heart ring is carefully handcrafted in your choice of gems and metals.Only $195.00 at Gemvara
no photoRound Peridot Sterling Silver Promise Ring with Peridot - Modern Heart Ring
$195.00
Gemvara
Round Aquamarine Sterling Silver Vintage-Inspired Ring with Emerald & Peridot - Venus Band
Scalloped shells form a fluted pattern on each side of this feminine tapered band, carefully handcrafted in your choice of gems and metals.Only $220.00 at Gemvara
no photoRound Aquamarine Sterling Silver Vintage-Inspired Ring with Emerald & Peridot - Venus Band
$220.00
Gemvara
Love Grows Peridot & White Topaz Heart Earrings, Womens
Two hearts connected as one. A ribbon of white topaz joins together heart-shaped peridot with rhodium-plated, sterling silver hearts, creating earrings as unique as your love. Metal: Rhodium-plated sterling silverStones: Genuine peridot, 4mmOther...Only $104.15 at jcpenney
no photoLove Grows Peridot & White Topaz Heart Earrings, Womens
$104.15
jcpenney
Round Iolite Sterling Silver Vintage-Inspired Ring with Peridot & Citrine - Venus Band
Scalloped shells form a fluted pattern on each side of this feminine tapered band, carefully handcrafted in your choice of gems and metals.Only $200.00 at Gemvara
no photoRound Iolite Sterling Silver Vintage-Inspired Ring with Peridot & Citrine - Venus Band
$200.00
Gemvara
9.25 ct. t.w. Peridot Eternity Bangle Bracelet in Sterling Silver
You can't go wrong with a wrist full of bangles! This eternity bangle bracelet shines all around with 9.25 ct. t.w. of peridot ovals. Slip-on, sterling silver bracelet. Peridot birthstones are the perfect gift for August birthdays.Only $175.00 at Ross-Simons
no photo9.25 ct. t.w. Peridot Eternity Bangle Bracelet in Sterling Silver
$175.00
Ross-Simons
Simulated Peridot & White Sapphire Stud Earrings Sterling Silver, Womens
An elegantly simple way to frame your face with a bit of color. These double-stone stud earrings feature an oval green peridot below a round white sapphire for exquisite sparkle. Metal: Sterling silverStone: Simulated oval green peridot, 6x4mmOther...Only $124.98 at jcpenney
no photoSimulated Peridot & White Sapphire Stud Earrings Sterling Silver, Womens
$124.98
jcpenney
Round Peridot Sterling Silver Vintage-Inspired Ring with Aquamarine & Emerald - Venus Band
Scalloped shells form a fluted pattern on each side of this feminine tapered band, carefully handcrafted in your choice of gems and metals.Only $220.00 at Gemvara
no photoRound Peridot Sterling Silver Vintage-Inspired Ring with Aquamarine & Emerald - Venus Band
$220.00
Gemvara
Sterling Silver Ring with Peridot - Daisy Ring
This nature-inspired ring is the perfect everyday choice with a pretty petite gem-set bloom on a delicate modern band. Wear more than one to create a bouquet for your finger.Only $155.00 at Gemvara
no photoSterling Silver Ring with Peridot - Daisy Ring
$155.00
Gemvara
Round Aquamarine Sterling Silver Promise Ring with Peridot - Written in the Stars Ring
Two glittering gemstones and numerous star etchings rest atop the hollowed upper band of this gleaming ring, designed for the stargazers among us.Only $215.00 at Gemvara
no photoRound Aquamarine Sterling Silver Promise Ring with Peridot - Written in the Stars Ring
$215.00
Gemvara
Sterling Silver Peridot Hook Double Dorje (Visvavajra) Earrings
Handmade by Master Artisan. See more details at JeGem.com.Only $95.24 at JeGem.com
no photoSterling Silver Peridot Hook Double Dorje (Visvavajra) Earrings
$95.24
JeGem.com
Love, Loyalty & Friendship Reflections Of Ireland Color-Changing Claddagh Ring Jewelry
Love, Loyalty & Friendship Reflections Of Ireland Color-Changing Claddagh Ring - Ireland is a land of true inspiration, with its rich history and its pastoral splendor. Now, let the Emerald Isle's wealth of beauty and love weave its magic on you with...Only $99.00 at The Bradford Exchange Online
no photoLove, Loyalty & Friendship Reflections Of Ireland Color-Changing Claddagh Ring Jewelry
$99.00
The Bradford Exchange Online
Sterling Silver Mother's Ring with Citrine & Peridot - Double Embrace Ring
Two, 4mm round-cut gemstones are held in the curve of this stunning, contemporary design. Choose your gems and metal.Only $215.00 at Gemvara
no photoSterling Silver Mother's Ring with Citrine & Peridot - Double Embrace Ring
$215.00
Gemvara
Round Red Garnet Sterling Silver Vintage-Inspired Ring with Peridot & Amethyst - Venus Band
Scalloped shells form a fluted pattern on each side of this feminine tapered band, carefully handcrafted in your choice of gems and metals.Only $200.00 at Gemvara
no photoRound Red Garnet Sterling Silver Vintage-Inspired Ring with Peridot & Amethyst - Venus Band
$200.00
Gemvara
Round Green Tourmaline Sterling Silver Vintage-Inspired Ring with Emerald & Peridot - Venus Band
Scalloped shells form a fluted pattern on each side of this feminine tapered band, carefully handcrafted in your choice of gems and metals.Only $220.00 at Gemvara
no photoRound Green Tourmaline Sterling Silver Vintage-Inspired Ring with Emerald & Peridot - Venus Band
$220.00
Gemvara
 


Copyright ©1995-2012 by Amethyst Galleries, Inc.
Site design & programming by galleries.com web services