Peridot is the type of birthstone that you either love or hate. Despite the stone’s lime green color and affordability, it is underrated in the fine jewelry market. Keep reading to explore some intriguing peridot facts that may make you appreciate this birthstone even more.
Peridot is a gem-quality form of the mineral olivine. This material is also referred to as chrysolite.
The gem is found primarily among rocks that were created by volcanoes and buried deep underground (igneous rocks), so wherever there are or was volcanoes, this mineral is likely to be found.
Large quantities of peridot are mined from the San Carlos reservation in Arizona as well as in Myanmar (Burma), Sri Lanka, and China. Peridot is also mined in large quantities in many other parts of the world like Pakistan and Kenya. Peridot that is mined in the US is usually much smaller and lighter in color than the varieties from other locales.
Some peridot specimens have been discovered in meteorites, though this finding is very rare.
In Hawaii, peridot symbolizes the tears of Hele who is the goddess of fire and volcanoes.
Romans referred to peridot as “Evening Emerald” because unlike the deep hues of emeralds, peridot gemstones did not darken at night and still shimmered under candlelight.
Legend has it that peridot could ward off evil spirits. It is also thought to aid in the success of marriage and other relationships. This may be because it is thought to encourage positive energy as well as suppress ego and jealousy.
Peridot, unlike most other gemstones, only comes in one color, pale green. There is a wide range of green shades that peridot exhibits, however, including olive green, lime green, yellowish green, and dark green. The most desirable shade of peridot is a deeply saturated forest green with a slight yellow tone and no brown tones. This color is more readily found in peridot stones weighing over 10 carats.
There is no synthetic or man-made version of peridot, but imitations do exist. These are usually made of glass or natural tourmaline.
Commercial quality peridot is separated into to quality grades of A and B. A quality peridot stones are eye clean yellowish green stones with no brown tones. B quality peridot stones are usually very pale in color or have visible inclusions.
Peridot is a relatively inexpensive gemstone under 4 carats. Any stone weighing over 4 carats costs considerably more. Stones over 10 carats are exceedingly rare and therefore expensive.
Peridot is a softer stone that is best set in jewelry that doesn’t see hard wear. Bezel settings that protect the stone are recommended.