Different Colors of Peridot - History and Facts

Jun 4 09:21 2012 Susan Wong Print This Article

Peridot is a popular green gemstone and has been found in ruins of ancient Greece and Egypt and was often called by the ancient Romans as “the evening emerald” because its green color shone even more vividly in lamplight, making the gem resemble deep green emerald. Peridot is the gem variety of olivine, it forms during volcanic eruptions and the stone ranges around 7 on the Mohs scale of hardness.

The green color of the stone comes from a 10-15% presence of iron. Chromium is another element which can also add to their green color. Peridot has approximately the same hardness as tanzanite and amethyst but is not as hard as ruby,Guest Posting emerald, diamond, or sapphire. In the 18th century, the yellowish-green gemstone was first called by the French as peridot, before this time, peridot was called topaz. Peridot symbolizes the goddess Pele’s tears in Hawaii and some of the beaches there are packed with tiny grains of peridot.

The color of the gemstone can be brown, olive, yellowish green, golden green, lime green and grass green. Peridot with a grass green color is the best peridot of Burmese and Pakistan while the best Arizona peridot typically has a lime green color. The value of the peridot gets higher when the green color of the stone is purer. Any tinges of brown or visible flaws will greatly diminish the price.The stone is also one of the most difficult gem to polish, sometimes vinegar is used to help in the polishing process.

Peridot is not typically enhanced or treated. Since the stone is relatively inexpensive, synthetic materials do not exist. Gem quality peridot comes from Burma, Arizona, Norway, Hawaii, islands in the Red Sea, and sometimes found in meteorites. Peridot is pronounced as ‘pear-a-dot’ in Arizona while in most other places they call the gem “pear-a-doe’. Both pronounciations are considered correct. To clean peridot, you can use warm mild soapy water and avoid cleaning the gem in an ultrasonic or steam cleaner.

For thousands of years, peridot has been mined as a gemstone and is also mentioned in the Bible under the name of Chrysolite. Peridot was one of the favorite gems of Cleopatra and surprisingly that some of the “emeralds” worn by Cleopatra were actually peridot. Ground peridot was once used as a treatment for asthma (taken internally), and it was believed that peridot brought power and influence to its wearer.

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Susan Wong
Susan Wong

In 1912, American National Association of Jewelers adopted peridot as the official August birthstone. It is also the lucky stone for the zodiac sign of Libra.

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