Most people are very familiar with gems. Everybody knows diamonds are high-value precious gems that happen to be the hardest mineral on Earth. Similarly, rubies, emeralds, sapphires, and amethysts are easily recognizable at first glance. Interest in gems has increased in recent years, with the gemstone industry expected to grow at a rate of 4.90% per year between 2021 and 2028. Still, many people are not aware of most gemstones that are available in the market, some of which have a long and rich history. One such gemstone is the elusive peridot that remains largely overlooked by the general public. Read on to find out everything there is to know about Peridot.
Appearance and Characteristics
Peridot can be recognized by its unique yellowish-green color. The gemstone is among the olivine group of minerals, a fitting categorization for a gem that has a very specific shade of olive. Peridot is made up of the elements magnesium (Mg) and iron (Fe) and small amounts of chromium (Cr). The green color can be attributed to the iron contained in periods, while the presence of chromium is associated with the brightness of the color. The more chromium, the greater the vibrancy of the color green. This results in the color of the gem ranging anywhere from brownish-green to yellowish-green, though the latter is the most common.
Peridot is found in lava and deep inside the earth's mantle. Most gems are formed and found in the Earth's crust, this again sets periods apart from other gemstones. Even more intriguing is the fact that periods have been discovered in meteorites as well, meaning peridots can be found elsewhere in space as well. Peridots can be traced back 4.5 billion years to the birth of our solar system. It is a truly amazing gemstone that has been overlooked in recent years.
Peridots get their name from the Arabic word 'faridat' which means gem. The name is also associated with the Greek 'peridona' which means giving plenty. The gem measures 6.5 to 7 in terms of hardness according to the Mohs scale. Most of the peridot that is extracted comes from the San Carlos Reservation in Arizona and other major sources of the gem include Myanmar, China, Pakistan, and Africa. The Egyptian Island of St. John, also known as Zabargad, used to contain large deposits of the gem which have been exhausted due to the excessive use of peridot by the ancient Egyptians.
Peridot through the Ages
Peridot, as already mentioned, is as old as the planet itself. The extraction and use of the gem in jewelry and amulets can be traced back thousands of years. The ancient Egyptians called it 'the gem of the sun, quite a title considering the sun was revered by the Egyptians and was treated as a major deity. They made jewelry, talisman, and amulets containing peridots as a means to gain protection and gain abundance. Throughout history, the ancient Egyptians protected the island of Zabargad specifically because it contained the best quality peridots.
Aside from Egypt, other places where peridot held significance including Hawaii where the gem was thought to be the tears of the goddess Pele. The lore is surprisingly befitting of the gem as Pele is the goddess of volcanoes and fire and peridots are found in lava.
Historically, the gem has represented protection and abundance. It is also believed that Cleopatra's famous collection of emeralds was, in reality, a collection of peridots. The confusion may be due to the similarities in the appearance of the two gemstones, even though peridots have a more yellow-green hue compared to the deep green color of emeralds.
The gem is also mentioned in the Bible, though under the name Chrysolite. This is a distinction that few other gems hold.
Peridots are generally affordable gems. They are inexpensive despite their brilliant appearance and this makes them quite desirable. Large-sized peridots are uncommon and their value goes up as the carats increase. Peridots having five or more carats are extremely rare.
Aside from the size, the color plays an important role. Vibrant green peridots with a brilliant yellow tinge are more expensive than brownish-green gems. So, color and carats determine the value of the gem.
Uses and Significance
Peridot has been used in jewelry and to make amulets for centuries. It is one of the few gems that comes in just one color, which is green. It may be mistaken for emeralds by people who are not knowledgeable about gemstones. To make it even more confusing the gem is also called the Evening Emerald sometimes.
The gemstone is the birthstone for August and is generally linked to the zodiac Libra. The gem is said to possess many beneficial qualities and is used for various reasons other than aesthetic appeal. Here are some of the qualities that Peridots engender:
Peridot is frequently used due to its beneficial impact on the body. In many cultures, including ancient Egypt, peridots were thought to have healing energy. The gem has a positive impact on the body and the mind. It is said to remove harmful toxins from the body and restore vitality.
The gem is not just effective against physical ailments of the body, it has a positive impact on psychological functions as well. Peridot's healing powers make it a popular gemstone among healers and shamans seeking to use its wonderful qualities to improve health and healing.
Peridot has calming and balancing effects as well. The green stone has a neutralizing force that is said to keep the wearer grounded. This improves the clarity of mind and assists in decision-making.
Better balance means users can maintain healthy relationships and can focus on work at the same time.
The gemstone was not just called the 'stone of the sun' by the Egyptians due to its purported healing abilities. Peridot is also linked to abundance and wealth. People used to keep peridot as good luck and seek abundance.
Powering through with the Peridot
If you are looking for an incredible gem with a deep meaning and incredible abilities then the peridot is the perfect pick. The gem is unique in appearance while still being affordable. It looks lovely against both silver and gold and marches well with other gemstones just as well. This is what makes peridot so special and it is a must for any jewelry lover or crystal collector.