August Birthstone: Peridot | Madison Gems

Joan Collins at the 61st Annual Golden Globe Awards wearing a Peridot Jewelry Set.

For those with August birthdays, peridot is a fitting birthstone because it’s said to possess healing properties that protect against nightmares and evil, therefore, ensuring peace and happiness. Respectively, Ancient Egyptians called peridot the “gem of the sun.” Emphatically, because of its sparkling green hue that looks brilliant any time of day, peridot is known as “the evening emerald.” As well, it is said that babies born in August are lucky to be guarded by peridot’s good fortune.

The signature green color of peridot comes from the composition of the mineral itself, instead of coming from trace impurities like many other gems. As a result, this is one of few stones that only come in one color. Yet, its shades can vary from yellowish-green to olive to brownish-green, contingent on how much iron is present in the stones composition. What’s more, the origin of the gem’s name is unclear but most scholars agree that the word “peridot” is derived from the Arabic faridat, which means “gem.” However, some believe it’s rooted in the Greek word peridona, which means, “giving plenty.” Conceivably, this has to be the reason peridot is associated with prosperity and good fortune. Likewise, Egyptian priests believed that it harnessed the power of nature, and used goblets encrusted with it to commune with their nature gods.

Peridot is a rare gem-quality variety that comes from the mineral olivine and its formed deep inside the earth’s mantle, which is brought to the surface by volcanoes. Famous for volcanoes, in Hawaii peridot symbolizes the tears of pele which is the volcano goddess of fire, who controls the flow of lava. In addition, although it’s rare peridot is also found inside meteorites.

On top, Peridot jewelry dates back as far as the second millennium BC. Nevertheless, these gems came from deposits on a small volcanic island in the Red Sea called Topazios, now known as St. John’s Island (Zabargad). Subsequently, in the 90s new deposits were discovered in Pakistan, producing some of the finest Kashmir peridots ever found, weighing more than 100 carats. In any case, the San Carlos

Apache Indian Reservation in Arizona is where the most productive peridot deposit in the World is located. However, other sources are located in China, Myanmar, Pakistan and Africa. As a result, an estimated 80 to 95 percent of the world’s peridot supplies are found there. Equally important, peridot measures 6.5 to 7 on the Mohs scale, so while the raw crystal is prone to cracking during cutting, the finished gemstones are fairly robust and easy to wear.

Perennially, there are some historians that believe Cleopatra’s famous emerald collection may have actually been peridot, as people confused these two green gems throughout medieval times. In addition, one of the shrines in Germany’s Cologne Cathedral is adorned with 200-carat gems that were long believed to be emeralds, however, they’re also peridots. Today, the world’s largest peridot is a 310-carat gem in the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, D.C.

Whether you’re purchasing a peridot for yourself or a loved one, you’re making an investment in a beautiful piece, that will stand the test of time, with fabulous statement pieces ranging from pendants to rings. Nevertheless, the gem is very durable and can compliment both special occasion looks as well as everyday ensembles in addition to flattering both warm and cool colors. Alas, besides being the August birthstone, Peridot is also used to celebrate the 16th year of marriage and makes the perfect gift that will leave others green with envy.





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