Peridot
 
August Birthstone (synthetic).  16th Anniversary Gemstone.   A transparent to translucent mineral species that occurs in a variety of green tones, Peridot is a very old gemstone whose popularity has been rejuvinated in modern jewelry.
 
The Peridot is so ancient that it can be found in Egyptian jewelry as early as 3,000 B.C.   Stones used at that time came from a deposit on a small volcanic island in the Red Sea, approximately 45 miles off the Egyptian coast at Aswan.   This deposit was not rediscovered until about 1900 A.D., and has since been exhausted.
 
The ancient Romans were also fond of Peridot and esteemed its radiant green shine, which does not change even in artificial light.   For that reason they nicknamed it the 'Emerald of the evening'.
 
Peridot is also found in Europe in medieval churches, where it adorns many a treasure, for example one of the shrines in Cologne Cathedral.   During the Baroque Period, the rich green gemstone once again enjoyed a brief heyday, and then it somehow faded into oblivion.   In 1994 A.D., Peridot deposits were located in the Kashmir region, giving this gemstone a much needed boost in the gem world.   Incomparable in color and transparency, these stones were finer than anything that had ever been seen before.
 
A plentiful supply of Peridot can be found in Hawaii.   In fact, the island of Oahu even has beaches made out of tiny grains of Peridot.  Even though Hawaii’s volcanoes have produced some Peridot large enough to be cut into gemstones, virtually all Peridot sold in Hawaii today is from Arizona, another state with extreme geology.
 
Today, most Peridot is mined, often by hand, by Native Americans on the San Carlos Reservation in Arizona.    Peridot found here is beautiful in color, but relatively small in size.   Faceted Peridot from Arizona is rare in sizes above five carats.   Fine large Peridot are found in Burma and large quantities of Peridot are also mined in China.
 
Named after the Greek word 'peridona' which means 'to give richness', Peridot is known to minerologists as chrysolite (the light tones) or olivine.   Many jewelers have long referred to Demantoid Garnet as 'olivine'.
 
The Peridot is one of the few gemstones which come in only one color.   The rich, green color with the slight tinge of gold is caused by very fine traces of iron.   Peridot is an iron magnesium silicate.    The intensity of the color is determined by the amount of iron present.    The color itself can vary over all shades of yellowish green and olive, even to a brownish green.   Peridot is not particularly hard - only 6.5 to 7 on the Mohs Scale - but it is easy to look after and fairly robust.   Peridot Cat's Eyes and Star Peridot are particularly rare and precious.
 
 
 
GB Jewelers, Inc.
Under the Clock Tower
675 SE Marlin Avenue, Suite 1  /  PO Box 999
Warrenton, OR 97146
800-869-1481

Latitude:  46.159033 / Longitude: -123.9055280
 
 
Store Hours: 10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Monday - Saturday
 
Copyright 1974