PERIDOT, the gemstone variety of olivine

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VARIETY INFORMATION:

  • VARIETY OF: Olivine , (Mg, Fe)2SiO4.
  • USES: gemstone.
  • BIRTHSTONE FOR: August
  • COLOR: shades of green usually from yellow-green to greenish yellow.
  • INDEX OF REFRACTION: 1.630 - 1.695
  • BIREFRINGENCE: 0.037
  • HARDNESS: 6.5 - 7
  • CLEAVAGE: usually not discernible
  • CRYSTAL SYSTEM: orthorhombic
  • For natural peridot mineral specimens see our For Sale or Sold lists
    For Peridot Jewelry, see --> PERIDOT JEWELRY

Peridot (pronounced pair-a-doe) is the gem variety of olivine. Olivine, which is actually not an official mineral, is composed of two minerals: fayalite and forsterite. Fayalite is the iron rich member with a pure formula of Fe2SiO4. Forsterite is the magnesium rich member with a pure formula of Mg2SiO4. 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. 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 have jewelers 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.

Peridot Jewelry - Hover over an item for more information
Round Iolite Sterling Silver Vintage-Inspired Ring with Peridot & Yellow Sapphire - 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 Iolite Sterling Silver Vintage-Inspired Ring with Peridot & Yellow Sapphire - Venus Band
$205.00
Gemvara
Sterling Silver Ring with Peridot & Citrine - Bubble Stack Ring
The fizz of champagne inspired this innovative stack ring. Although this ring stacks beautifully, it also has enough presence to wear alone.Only $225.00 at Gemvara
no photoSterling Silver Ring with Peridot & Citrine - Bubble Stack Ring
$225.00
Gemvara
Princess Peridot Sterling Silver Engagement Ring - Twist Ring
Two strands separate, cross, and then meet again in the brilliant blaze of a princess cut gem. The braided design of this ring symbolizes strength in unity and how our lives are woven together.Only $210.00 at Gemvara
no photoPrincess Peridot Sterling Silver Engagement Ring - Twist Ring
$210.00
Gemvara
Round Peridot Sterling Silver Ring with Black Onyx & Ruby - Split Bamboo Three-Stone Ring
The open band of this stylish ring cradles three brilliant bezel-set gems.Only $200.00 at Gemvara
no photoRound Peridot Sterling Silver Ring with Black Onyx & Ruby - Split Bamboo Three-Stone Ring
$200.00
Gemvara
Round Sapphire Sterling Silver Ring with London Blue Topaz & Peridot - Split Bamboo Three-Stone Ring
The open band of this stylish ring cradles three brilliant bezel-set gems.Only $195.00 at Gemvara
no photoRound Sapphire Sterling Silver Ring with London Blue Topaz & Peridot - Split Bamboo Three-Stone Ring
$195.00
Gemvara
Oval Peridot Sterling Silver Promise Ring - Regina Ring
An oval-cut, 7mm stone takes center stage in this intricately-detailed ring, handcrafted in your choice of gems and metals.Only $175.00 at Gemvara
no photoOval Peridot Sterling Silver Promise Ring - Regina Ring
$175.00
Gemvara
Sterling Silver Promise Ring with Peridot & Aquamarine - Bamboo Two-Stone Ring
This double-gemstone bamboo ring makes a refined statement alone, or combines well with other bamboo rings.Only $165.00 at Gemvara
no photoSterling Silver Promise Ring with Peridot & Aquamarine - Bamboo Two-Stone Ring
$165.00
Gemvara
Round Emerald Sterling Silver Vintage-Inspired Ring with 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 $215.00 at Gemvara
no photoRound Emerald Sterling Silver Vintage-Inspired Ring with Peridot - Venus Band
$215.00
Gemvara
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
Round Peridot Sterling Silver Vintage-Inspired Ring with Green Tourmaline - 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 Green Tourmaline - Venus Band
$205.00
Gemvara
Round Emerald 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 $215.00 at Gemvara
no photoRound Emerald Sterling Silver Vintage-Inspired Ring with Peridot & Citrine - Venus Band
$215.00
Gemvara
Sterling Silver Promise Ring with Pink Tourmaline & Peridot - Remember Forever Ring
Two gems wrapped in a knot to remember this moment forever.Only $155.00 at Gemvara
no photoSterling Silver Promise Ring with Pink Tourmaline & Peridot - Remember Forever Ring
$155.00
Gemvara
Sterling Silver Promise Ring with Red Garnet & Peridot - Double Knots Ring
This gorgeous, contemporary setting forms a pair of knots, each enclosing a stunning, 3mm, prong-set stone. It's carefully handcrafted in your choice of gems and metals.Only $165.00 at Gemvara
no photoSterling Silver Promise Ring with Red Garnet & Peridot - Double Knots Ring
$165.00
Gemvara
Round Red Garnet 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 Red Garnet Sterling Silver Promise Ring with Peridot - Written in the Stars Ring
$215.00
Gemvara
Sterling Silver Promise Ring with Peridot & Citrine - Two Hearts Ring
Two hearts meet in one simply perfect ring style. Create this style in your birthstones to add extra meaning.Only $215.00 at Gemvara
no photoSterling Silver Promise Ring with Peridot & Citrine - Two Hearts Ring
$215.00
Gemvara
This Site Awarded
Available PERIDOT specimens:
see this List of ALL specimens including SOLD ones
 

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