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The peridot is an invigorating gemstone and it is also the August birthstone. It is a uniquely bright and clear green color, making this gemstone a symbol of vitality. Peridots also signify strength and the promise of new growth in years ahead; many people wear the stone because it is believed to bring the wearer success, peace, and good fortune, others, simply because they enjoy it or it is their birthstone. 

The peridot has caught the attention of humans for thousands of years and the name comes from the Arabic word “faridat,” meaning “gem.” Peridots are one of few gemstones that only occur in only one color, an olive green, with only small variations ranging from yellow-green to brownish-green. The intensity and tint of the green depends on how much iron is contained in the crystal structure.

The earliest production of peridot is said to have occurred between 70 AD and 1500 BC on the St. Johns Island in the Red Sea, about 54 kilometers off the coast of Egypt.

During these times this prized green gemstone was thought to protect against evil. It was also ground to a powder and used as a remedy for asthma and as a cure for thirst brought on by fever. The Egyptians called the peridot the “gem of the sun” because of dazzling brilliance they produce when observed under the desert sun. Early Egyptian priests drank a stimulating beverage called Soma from cups made of peridot, believing this practice to draw them closer to Isis, the goddess of nature. Some historians suspect that at least some of the “emeralds” worn by Cleopatra were actually peridot.

Most of the world’s peridot was formed deep inside the earth and brought to the surface by volcanoes. Interestingly, it is the only gemstone found in meteorites. Peridots from meteorites are extremely rare and not likely to be found in retail stores.

The best quality peridot has historically come from either Myanmar or Egypt. However, 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 therefore more affordable. Arizona’s San Carlos Indian Reservation is the world’s most commercially important producer of Peridots. On the San Carlos Reservation, only Native Americans living on the reservation are permitted to mine the gemstone. Because of the plentiful occurrence on this reservation the United States is the largest producer of Peridots in the world. This one reservation accounts for 80-90 percent of the world’s production of peridot.

The largest cut peridot is a 310 carat (62 g) specimen in the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, D.C.

If you would like to learn more about peridot,  continue your search here.....


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