Description: Peridot is a gem variety of the mineral olivine. Belonging to the forsterite-fayalite family. Often referred as olivine, but when we talk about gemstone the correct name would be peridot. It’s an idiochromatic gem, which mean its color comes from the basic chemical composition of the mineral, but there is no minor traces of impurities.
Characteristic: Peridot is a magnesium iron silicate with an orthorhombic crystal system and has an hardness of 7.Its olive to lime green is caused by iron. The major sources of peridot are Pakistan, Australia and the USA.
Marriage: Peridot is the stone that celebrate the 16th anniversary of marriage.
Appearance: Peridot is one of the few gemstones that occur in only one color: an olive-green. The intensity and tint of the green, however, depends on the percentage of iron that is contained in the crystal structure, so the color of individual peridot gems can vary from yellow, to olive, to brownish-green. In rare cases, peridot may occur in a medium-dark toned, visually pure green with no secondary yellow hue or brown mask.
History: Most gemstones are formed in earth’s crust, but peridot is formed much deeper in the mantle region. Peridot crystals form in magma from the upper mantle and are brought to the surface by tectonic or volcanic activity where they are found in extrusive igneous rocks.The past of Peridot is link to Egyptian island of St. John in the Red Sea, which was the one of the only ancient sources of gem Peridot. This deposit has been totally exhausted, though fairly significant deposits have since been discovered, especially since the 1990’s. As of today, the most important deposits are found in Pakistan (in the Kashmir region and the Pakistan-Afghanistan border region). Beautiful material is also found in upper Myanmar (Burma) and Vietnam. Other deposits are found in Australia (Queensland), Brazil (Minas Gerais), China, Kenya, Mexico, Norway (north of Bergen), South Africa, Sri Lanka, Tanzania and the United States (Arizona and Hawaii). Recently, China has become of the the largest producers of peridot.
Folklore: Peridot has always been associated with light. In fact, the Egyptians called it the “gem of the sun.” Some believed that it protected its owner from “terrors of the night,” especially when it was set in gold. Others strung the gems on donkey hair and tied them around their left arms to ward off evil spirits. Early records indicate that the ancient Egyptians mined a beautiful green gem on an island in the Red Sea called Topazios, now known 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 sea. From the earliest times, people confused this stone—now known to be peridot—with other gems. It was one of many labeled as “topaz.” Some historians believe that Cleopatra’s famous emerald collection might actually 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, peridot.
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