August Birthstone Profile:
Peridot has long been sought after for its plethora of desirable properties. Ancient Egyptians, who called it the “gem of light” or “gem of the sun,” renowned the deep, lustrous greens found in these gems mined on the legendary island in the Red Sea, Topazios. Hawaiians once called the stone the “tears of Pele” (the volcano goddess), due to peridot’s propensity to surface amidst volcanic eruptions. Europeans adorned priests, chalices, and churches with peridot from as far back as the 2nd century BCE, well throughout medieval times for both the stone’s aesthetic appeal, as well as its perceived metaphysical properties. Nowadays, peridot remains prevalent in the jewelry world for its undeniable visual appeal, availability, and affordability.
Did you know?
Historically, and even today, peridot is often mistaken for other well-known gemstones, most notably emerald. In fact, the 200 carats of "emerald" set in the Shrine of the Three Holy Kings in Germany's Cologne Cathedral is actually peridot. Also, many experts now believe that Cleopatra's notoriously extravagant emerald collection was mostly comprised of peridot!
Peridot, derived from the Arabic word, “faridat,” simply translates to “gem”; though others trace the word’s origin to the Greek, “peridona,” meaning, “giving plenty.” Peridot is a yellow-green variety of the mineral olivine, whose color is determined by the amount of ferrous iron present in its composition (less iron means a deeper green). Most peridot forms deep beneath the earth’s surface and is exposed through volcanic activity (as well as mining), though there are rare occurrences of extraterrestrial peridot that has been transported from outer space via meteorite. In fact, scientific communities actually believe that the majority of the moon's mantle is composed of peridot!
Peridot is a fairly hard and durable gem, falling around a 6.5 and 7 on the Mohs Hardness Scale. However, it is still prone to fracturing under extreme pressure, heat, or impact, so best to stay mindful while wearing your peridot jewelry.
TO CLEAN YOUR PERIDOT
Use warm, soapy water on a soft cloth, or stop by Squash Blossom in Colorado Springs' historic Old Colorado City and we will have your peridot shining like the “gem of light” that it is!
Friday & Saturday 10:00-8:00
2531 W Colorado Avenue
Colorado Springs, CO 80904