The ancient Egyptians mined Peridot gemstones on the Red Sea island of Zabargad, the source for many large fine peridots in the world’s museums. The Egyptians called it the “gem of the sun.” Today this gem remains prized for its restful yellow green hues and long history. Large strongly-coloured, examples can be spectacular, and attractive smaller gems are available for jewellery pieces at all price points.
The word peridot comes from the Arabic “faridat,” which suggests “gem.” Most peridot formed deep inside the world and was delivered to the surface by volcanoes. Some also came to earth in meteorites, but this extraterrestrial peridot is extremely rare, and unlikely to be seen during a retail jewellery store.
Early records indicate that the traditional Egyptians mined a gorgeous green gem on an island within the Red Sea called Topazios, now referred to as St. John’s Island or Zabargad. Legend has it that the island was infested with snakes, making mining unpleasant until an enterprising pharaoh drove them into the ocean.
From the earliest times, people confused this stone—now known to be peridot—with other gems. It was one of many labelled as “topaz.”
Some historians believe that Cleopatra’s famous emerald collection might even have been peridot. People in medieval times continued to confuse peridot with emerald. For centuries, people believed the fabulous 200-ct. gems adorning the shrine of the Three Holy Kings in Germany’s Cologne Cathedral were Emeralds. They are, in fact, peridots.
Description of Peridot
Gem miners find peridot as irregular nodules (rounded rocks with peridot crystals inside) in some lava flows within the us , China, and Vietnam and, very rarely, as large crystals lining veins or pockets in certain types of solidified molten rock. Sources for the latter include Finland, Pakistan, Myanmar, and therefore the island of Zabargad.
Geologists believe both types of deposits relate to the spreading of the sea floor that occurs when the earth’s crust splits, and rocks from its mantle are pushed up to the surface. Sometimes—as in Myanmar— these rocks can be altered, deformed, and incorporated into mountain ranges by later earth movements.
Rarely, peridot can have an extraterrestrial source, being contained in meteorites that have fallen to earth.
The colour range for peridot is narrow, from a brown-green colour to yellow green to pure green. Yellowish green is the most common peridot colour seen in jewellery pieces.
Peridot is that the gem sort of the mineral olivine. Its chemical composition includes iron and magnesium, and iron is the cause of its attractive yellowish green colours. The gem often occurs in volcanic rocks called basalts, which are rich in these two elements.
Choosing the right Peridot
Peridot that is used for jewellery is generally eye-clean with no inclusions. Because the stone is highly transparent, inclusions within the stone can easily be seen. Where there are inclusions, the price of the peridot drops dramatically and the stone loses its value.
While smaller sized peridots are generally flawless to the eye , larger stones may sometimes contain inclusions which dull the stone and provides it a cloudy appearance. Some common inclusions in peridot are disc shaped impurities (also called ‘lily pads’ due to their shape) as well as foreign mineral crystals that can appear black.
It is critical to evaluate the clarity of the peridot before you purchase to ensure that there are no visible inclusions in the stone.
If a peridot only comes in one colour, why would you need to choose colour? This is because the stone can be found in a few different shades and while peridot is known for its lime-green colour, you can also find stones with yellow and brown hues.
The use of Peridot gemstones in Jewellery
Peridot is a lively gemstone and can elevate a simple outfit immediately. Here are some ways to wear peridot:
Peridot Earrings, Bracelets and Pendants
A great thanks to showcase peridot is thru an aesthetic pair of earrings. Because of its colour, even simple studs are eye-catching and dressy.
You can find beautifully crafted stud earrings that go well with casual or office wear.
For a dressier look, choose dangle earrings to add that extra touch of elegance.
A well-made peridot pendant adds the right amount of chic and colour to any outfit.
Whether you have minimalist or maximalist tastes, a well-chosen piece of peridot jewellery can complement your outfit and style. Because a little peridot goes a long way, even a small stone will be noticeable.
Peridots can be set as the centerstone of a ring or as accents for neutral coloured stones such as diamonds. A small stone set in a simple delicate setting will be a perfect accompaniment to casual or work wear.
For a more dramatic look, choose a peridot cocktail ring to really make a statement. Try a multi-stone or large cluster setting for a deviation from the usual single centerpiece stone setting.
You may decide that you want a peridot engagement ring. There are many stunning peridot engagement ring designs available; however, there are a couple of things to consider. Because peridot has a very distinct colour it can clash with outfits. Considering the fact that you will be wearing the engagement ring regularly, it can be difficult to match colours at times.
Another factor to consider is the durability of the stone. Peridot is not a very hard stone and can be damaged easily (more on this later). This can also be an impediment to daily wear.
Having said that, many non-traditional couples, who want something different, opt for peridot engagement rings. With appropriate care, you can have your peridot engagement ring last a long time.
Where is peridot found?
They are found all over the world from the USA to Pakistan, Myanmar, Australia, Vietnam, China, Brazil and Egypt.
Where does the gem’s green colour come from?
Iron is the main component that determines the colour. The green intensity of the colour depends on the amount of iron present in the gemstone.
Do peridot gemstones come in any other colour besides green?
No, peridot is surprisingly one of only a few gemstones that come in only one colour.
Can peridot jewellery be worn every day?
Peridot can damage and scratch. It rates 7 on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness. Care should be taken when wearing peridot jewellery.
How is peridot formed?
Peridot is the only other stone besides a diamond that is formed in the Earth’s mantle. They are formed in magma and then brought up to the Earth’s surface by tectonic or volcanic activity.
What determines the value of a peridot?
The best and finest peridots do not contain any traces of yellow or brown. Clarity also impacts on the price.