Peridot (pronounced pair-a-doe) is the gem variety of olivine. It has a transparent, sparkling pale green color. It can also occur in lime, yellowish green, olive green or medium dark green hues. The crystals of peridot have a vitreous lustre and conchoidal fracture.

Peridot has been adored since ancient times and has been valued for centuries. Egyptians used peridot in jewelry as early as 1500 BC. Peridot was greatly prized by Egyptian Kings. Some of Cleopatra's emeralds were in fact peridots.

The name “peridot” is perhaps derived from the Greek word “peridona” which means to endow wealth.

Peridot is also possibly derived from the French word peritot, which means unclear, probably due to the inclusions and cloudy nature of large stones.

It could also be named from the Arabic word faridat, which means gem.

Peridot has been mined as a gemstone for an estimated four thousand years or longer, and is mentioned in the Bible under the Hebrew name of pitdah. Jewish High Priest’s breastplate, which is described in the Biblical book of Exodus, includes a stone for each of the twelve tribes of Israel, one being peridot. The Bible also tells of a jewel worn by King Esekiel from Exodus, an impressive peridot.

The Greeks and Romans referred to peridot as topazion and topazius respectively and this name was later given to topaz, to end the confusion with the two gems.

Historical legend has it that peridot was the favorite gemstone of Cleopatra.

Pliny, an ancient historian, wrote about the green stone from Zagbargad Island, also known as St John's Island, in 1500 B.C.

Ancient Egyptians called peridot "the gem of the sun," although they believed its seekers might not find it in sunlight. Because of their brightness in the desert sun, the stones were supposedly invisible by daylight. In darkness, however, they were alleged to give off a light of their own. By night, miners were said to mark their locations accordingly and return to recover their treasures by day. The ancient Romans called peridot "evening emerald," since its green color did not darken at night but was still visible by lamplight.

Napoleon used peridot to assure the empress Josephine of his undying love and admiration, which, of course, happened before he had their marriage annulled.

Even until recently have jewelers used the term "chrysolite" (latin for golden stone) in referring to peridot gems for some reason. This term has also been used to refer to other gemstones, of a more golden color.

Even until recently have jewelers used the term "chrysolite" (latin for golden stone) in referring to peridot gems for some reason. This term has also been used to refer to other gemstones, of a more golden color.

Aside from chrysolite, the other names of peridot are “gold stone” and “olivine.”

Peridot has been confused with many other gemstones. Many "emeralds" of royal treasures have turned out to be peridots, although peridot is distinctly a different shade of green from emeral. Emerald is a dark green as opposed to a yellow green and always contains inclusions.

Other green gemstones confused with peridot include apatite (which is much softer); green garnets (have no double refraction), green tourmaline and green sinhalite (both of which are strongly pleochroic), moldavites (no double refraction) and green zircon (significantly heavier). All of these gemstones rarely have as nice a yellow component to their green color as does most peridot, but darker green peridot can be confusing when good crystal form is not discernible.

Peridot jewelry is collected because the green luster does not dim even under artificial light.

Peridot gemology
Species: olivine
Color: Yellow-green, olive-green, brownish
Chemical composition: (Mg,Fe)2SiO4 magnesium iron silicate
Crystal system: Orthorhombic; short compact prisms, vertically striated
Hardness: 6.5-7 (Mohs scale)
Specific gravity: 3.28 - 3.48
Refractive index: 1.650 -1.703
Birefringence: +0.036 to +0.038
Color of streak: White,
Absorption spectrum: 497, 495, 493, 473, 453
Fluorescence: None

Care of Peridot
Like all translucent gemstones, peridot should not be sprayed with any hair care, makeup or scent product. Make putting on peridot jewelry on as one of the last steps in getting ready to walk out the door. Why is this important? Over time, cosmetic products can coat and dull the sheen of translucent gemstones. Depending on the ingredients used in the products, this alteration can be permanent.

Don’t place peridot jewelry in an ultrasonic cleaner. Abrupt temperature changes – either hot or cold – can cause peridot to crack. After wearing rinse in room temperature soapy water, rinse and dry thoroughly. If your peridot is set in sterling silver, exercise care when polishing or removing tarnish from the silver. Consider storing the piece in a tarnish resistant bag.

As with all gems, protect peridot from scratches and sharp blows. Also avoid drastic temperature changes. Do not clean peridot in a home ultrasonic cleaner.

Store peridot jewelry with care to avoid scratches and protect from blows. Because peridot is sensitive to rapid changes in temperature, never have it steam cleaned and avoid ultrasonics. Clean with mild dish soap: use a toothbrush to scrub behind the stone where dust can collect.

Peridot treatments
There are no treatments known that could enhance the quality of peridot.

Peridot is not usually enhanced or heat-treated but it is occasionally treated with colorless oils, wax, and natural or synthetic resins to fill in voids or surface fractures and to improve appearance or luster. You should never clean peridot ultrasonically.

The Physical/Chemical property of Peridot
Because of the way peridot splits and bends the rays of light passing through it, it has a velvety, "sleepy" appearance-a shining rich glow.

It is one of the "idiochromatic" gems, meaning its color comes from the basic chemical composition of the mineral itself, not from minor impurities, and therefore will only be found in shades of green. As a matter of fact peridot is one of the few gemstones found in only one color.

Peridot is the gem variety of olivine. Olivine, which is actually not an official mineral, is composed of two minerals: fayalite and forsterite. Fayalite is the iron rich member with a pure formula of Fe2SiO4. Forsterite is the magnesium rich member with a pure formula of Mg2SiO4. Olivine's formula is written as (Mg, Fe)2SiO4 to show the substitution of the magnesium and iron.

The peridot is essentially an iron magnesium silicate. Peridot is usually closer to forsterite than fayalite in composition although iron is the coloring agent for peridot. The best colored peridot has an iron percentage of less than 15% and includes nickel and chromium as trace elements that may also contribute to the best peridot color.

Period is the French word for olivine; whereas chrysolite is derived from the Greek words for gold and stone.

Peridot is the gem variety of olivine it is known also as Chrysolite or Evening Emerald. Olivine (not an official mineral) is made up of two minerals: fayalite (an iron rich member Fe2SiO4) and forsterite (an magnesium rich member Mg2SiO4). Peridot is usually closer to forsterite in composition with the iron giving it its colour, only green varying from light yellow-green to bottle-green with a white streak. Peridot is a volcanic gem that contains the same composition as molten magma, it is found in ultramafic igneous rocks that formed from metamorphosed impure limestone's. Group SILICATES, Composition (Mg,Fe)2SiO4, Hardness 6.5-7.0, Crystal Structure ORTHORHOMBIC.

Peridot belongs to the forsterite-fayalite mineral series, which is part of the olivine group. It is one of the "idiochromatic" gems, meaning its color comes from the basic chemical composition of the mineral itself, not from minor impurities, and therefore will only be found in shades of green. As a matter of fact peridot is one of the few gemstones found in only one color.

Though not abundant in continental rocks, olivine is yet thought to be a major component of the upper mantle of the Earth. Gem-quality olivine is a mineral that composes a lot of the earth's mantel, the layer below the crust. It is also common in basalts on the moon.

Geographical deposits
Peridot is found in the rocks created by volcanoes and even in meteors that fall to earth. A few samples of extraterrestrial peridot have even been faceted into gems. Peridot is formed deep within the earth under tremendous heat and pressure.

Archaeologists have found valuable peridots in Alexandria, Egypt, which must have come from the original source, the island of Zebargad. Faceted stones have also been found in the ruins of ancient Greece and attributed to the same source.

Zebargad, which was known for many years as Saint John's Island, is located about 50 miles from the coast of Egypt in the Red Sea. Peridot may have been mined there since 1500 BC. This island was mentioned by Pliny the Elder (23-79 A.D.) in his Natural History as having been explored in the fourth century BC. It was called "the Serpent Isle' " for its many poisonous snakes that interfered with mining activity. An Egyptian ruler eventually had all the snakes driven into the sea. The rich green stones were so greatly desired. Guards of the deposits were told to kill any unauthorized travelers of the island.

The treasure was kept secret from the western world for centuries-from Biblical times until the seventeenth century. Before World War I, this island was extensively mined and produced millions of dollars worth of gems. Since hen the mining has been sporadic. Sadly, the deposits were almost exhausted. Still, specimens from here are available at times and it certainly is a classic mineral locality.

Burma then became the prime source of peridot, stones from its Mogok region being generally a bit lighter green than those of Zebargad. Another major worldwide source of peridot is the San Carlos Apache Reservation in Arizona. Only the Apache Indians may mine there. Lesser sources of peridot are Norway, Brazil, Australia, Hawaii and the Congo. Peridots have also been found in meteorites.

Peridot regained its popularity after an exciting new deposit of peridot was discovered in Pakistan in 1994. The exciting new deposit of fine peridot was discovered in Pakistan, 15,000 feet above sea level in the far west of the Himalaya Mountains in the Pakistanian part of Kashmir. The large crystals of peridot from Pakistan were known as “Kashmir peridots”.

Now a day, peridot is found in Australia, Brazil, China, Eygpt, Burma, Pakistan, Norway, and USA (Arizona, Colorado, Hawaii, and New Mexico). Much of the today's Peridot comes from Arizona. Very large crystals are found in the Mogok district of Myanmar (Burma) and in the Minas Gerais in Brazil.

The best quality peridot has historically come either from Myanmar or Egypt. But new sources in Pakistan are challenging that claim with some exceptional specimens. The Myanmar, Pakistani and Egyptian gems are rarer and of better quality and thus quite valuable approaching the per carat values of top gemstones.

An estimated 80 - 95% of all world production of peridot comes from Arizona. 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.

Peridot is treasured in Hawaii as the goddess Pele's tears. The island of Oahu even has beaches made out of tiny grains of peridot.

In the past few years, China started to mine Peridot in the Region of Hunan, producing up to 10ct sizes faceted materials that seem to be lighter in color or more of a golden green color but amazingly less costly than comparable Peridot.

Possibly the most unusual peridot is that which comes from iron-nickel meteorites called pallasites.

The largest known faceted peridot (310 carats) is displayed at the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.

A part of the Diamond Treasury in Moscow, Russia, is a yellowish-green 192.75-carat stone, which belonged to the czars.

A step-cut peridot of 146 carats is in the Geological Museum, London, England.

The collections of the American Museum of Natural History in New York and the Chicago Museum of Natural History have included beautiful examples of peridot.

Peridot was often used to decorate medieval churches, probably carried back to Europe by the Crusaders returning from the East. Large peridots, more than 200 carats in size, adorn the shrine of the three magi at the Cathedral in Cologne.

Metaphysical properties
Birthstone: Period is the birthstone of August. Peridot along with sardonyx are birthstones of Leo (Lion): July. 23 - Aug. 22. Wedding Anniversary: Peridot is the anniversary gemstone for the 16th year of marriage. Symbol: fame, dignity, and protection. Peridot heals, protects and allows one to understand changes in one's life.

Myths and Lore
In ancient believes peridot was a gift of Mother Nature to celebrate the annual creation of a new world. National leaders who publicly wore peridot were in former times thought to be gentle, fair and wise.

In Antiquity, as well as in the Middle Ages people believed that the cosmos is reflected in gemstones. Peridot is assigned to planet Saturn. The esoteric movement revived the ancient belief and the gem industry made it another marketing tool to promote certain gems.

In traditional metaphysical properties, peridot brings warmth, friendliness, understanding, openness in love and relationships, regulation of cycles.

People in the Middle Ages wore peridot to gain foresight and divine inspiration.

Legend has it that pirates favored peridot to protect them against evil. If it was to be used to protect the wearer from evil spirits, it had to be pierced, strung on the hair of a donkey, and worn on the left arm.

Peridot was believed to have the power to dissolve enchantments and wizardry. To exert its full potential, the stone was to be set in gold. Then it would drive away night's terrors.

According to astrologers, the wearer of peridot will enjoy happiness in marriage, the power of eloquence in speech and enduring freedom from insecurity-both emotional and physical.

It is said that peridot brings the will and emotions into alignment, and decreases fear. Helps in understanding the changes in one's life. Attracts occult powers to the user. Peridot calms a raging anger as well as attracts love. It is also used to dispel negative emotions. It is believed to promote sleep when worn to bed. Peridot is used to help dreams become a reality. Peridot is a powerful generator of increase of wealth, increase of health, and increase of joy and emotional well-being. So, it is believed that peridot can give good luck, good health, and good disposition.

Peridot and Healing
(The information presented here does not reflect the believe of VivaLaChi Design.)
This beautiful stone is worn or carried for general healing purposes. Used by Egyptians, Aztecs, and Incas to gently cleanse and heal the physical heart (lungs, lymph, breast) , spleen, intestinal tract, and strengthens eyes in regards to astigmatism and nearsighted-ness. Gems leaning more to the yellow side in color are also for Solar Plexus (stomach, liver, adrenal). Helps heal infection, ulcers, and thyroid.

In ancient Roman times, those suffering from depression wore peridot rings to raise their spirits.

Peridot increases strength and physical vitality. Peridot protects against nervousness. It helps liver and adrenal function. Peridot is also thought to protect lungs, sinuses, and wrists from illness and injury.

Peridots helps speech, increases its eloquence, remove impediments. It may remove stutters and speech impediments.

Peridot, as well as being recommended as a cure for insomnia, is said to aid the digestion, placate the nervous system, reduce temperature, improve bruised eye.

It is associated with stress reduction, and used in treating emotional states such as anger or jealousy. Inspires healing, renewal, purification, rebirth and growth. Heals hurt feelings, helps mend damaged relationships, and alleviate anger, jealousy and irritation.

Peridot subdues an over-active 3rd Chakra (Naval Chakra). Natural Healers use Peridot to provide a protective shield around the entire body and provide healing to the heart and lungs. Can be used to cleanse and stimulate the Heart and Solar Plexus chakras.

Medical Use
(The information presented here does not reflect the believe of VivaLaChi Desing.)
As a medical remedy, it was powdered to cure asthma. Holding a peridot under the tongue was supposed to lessen the thirst of a person suffering from fever.

Other Uses
As gemstones, industrial uses as refractory sands and abrasives, an ore of magnesium and as mineral specimens.

A worldwide search is on for cheap processes to sequester CO2 by mineral reactions. Removal by reactions with olivine is an attractive option, because it is widely available and reacts easily with the (acid) CO2 from the atmosphere. When olivine is crushed, it weathers completely within a few years, depending on the grain size. All the CO2 that is produced by burning 1 liter of oil can be sequestered by less than 1 liter of olivine. The reaction is exothermic but slow. In order to recover the heat produced by the reaction to produce electricity, a large volume of olivine must be thermally well isolated. Then it can produce power, while at the same time removing CO2. The end-products of the reaction are silicon dioxide, magnesium carbonate and small amounts of iron oxide.

The aluminium foundry industry uses olivine sand to cast objects in aluminium. Olivine sand requires less water than silicon based sand while providing the necessary strength to hold the mold together during handling and pouring of the metal. Less water means less gas (steam) to vent from the mold as metal is poured into the mold.