August Birthstone (Peridot)

The word peridot comes from the Arabic word “faridat,” which translates to the word gem.  Peridot is one of the oldest known gems on this earth, dating all the way back to ancient Egyptians of 1500 BC.  Egyptians associated the stone with light, and called it the “gem of the sun.” Many believed that when worn, peridot served as protection for its owner against “terrors of the night,” especially if the gem was set in gold.  Others tied the gems to their left arm with donkey hair to ward off evil spirits.

img_7803-e153286569227714k yellow gold stud earring with one 3-prong set 3.70ctw trillion cut peridot.  Priced at $700

For 3500 years the main source of peridot was Topazos Island, now known as  Zabargad or St. John’s Island, in the Egyptian Red Sea.  Legends say that the island was filled with snakes, making it extremely hard to mine, until an enterprising pharaoh drove them out to sea.  This is why the island is also known as snake island.  The famously young King Tut wore a peridot pendant proudly around his neck.  It is also believed that many of Cleopatra’s famous emeralds were actually peridot gems that were mistaken for emeralds because of their green color.

IMG_347514k yellow gold stud earring with one 4-prong set 6.75mm round peridot.  Priced at $475.

Left: 14k white gold necklace with one 4-prong set 1.82ct round peridot with a diamond halo.  Priced at $2250.  Right: 14k white gold stud earring with one 4-prong set 1.06ctw round peridot with a diamond halo.  Priced at $1750.

Early crusaders helped increase the popularity of peridot when they brought the vibrant green gem to Europe.  Some of the most important medieval treasures include peridot. Germany’s Cologne Cathedral, which is said to hold the bones of the Three Magi, is decorated with an impressive 200ct of peridot gems.  For centuries, people believed that the gems were emeralds, once again for their green hue.  Istanbul’s Topkapi Palace, which holds the Gold Festival Throne, is studded with 957 bright green peridot gems.

csm_Ekta008195_8f077c80b8Shrine of the Magi from the Cologne Cathedral in Germany

Unlike many gems that are formed in the earth’s crust, peridot actually takes form below the crust in the earth’s mantle.  Peridot forms in magma in the upper mantle around 20 to 55 miles deep.  It gets brought to the surface by tectonic or volcanic activity.  The only other gem formed in the earth’s mantle is diamond which forms much deeper, around 100 to 150 miles below the surface, under extreme pressure and high temperatures.  Interestingly in 2003 peridot was discovered on Mars by NASA, making it the only gem to have ever been found on another planet.  

IMG_350014k yellow gold stud earring with one 4-prong set 2.0ctw oval peridot in an antique-style filigree setting.  Priced at $395.

As mentioned before, peridot used to be mined on Topazos Island for many centuries, but that came to an end around the time of WWII.  Many of today’s peridot gems come from China, Myanmar, Pakistan, Tanzania, Vietnam, and here in the U.S., in Arizona and New Mexico.

IMG_346914k yellow gold stud earring with one 4-prong set 10mm marquis peridot.  Priced at $350.

Because of the yellowish green color of peridot, it has been believed to cure diseases of the liver and difficulties with digestion.  It aids in physical detoxification and helps problems with the kidneys, bladder, gallbladder, and the stomach.  Many believe that Peridot heals such illnesses as ulcers, constipation, and irritable bowel syndrome.  It is also useful in helping to heal insect bites.  Peridot has a tonic effect, it heals and regenerates tissues, strengthens the metabolism and benefits the skin.  Peridot is also very beneficial when it comes to treating psychological afflictions as well.  It is a wonderful stone to help someone who is going through depression.  It is a stone of lightness that counters the effects of negative emotions.  It has the ability to balance the process of emotional release and detoxifies negative emotions, bringing them to comfortable levels.

IMG_346014k white gold stud earring with one 4-prong set 3.82ctw round peridot.  Priced at $375

Peridot gems are pretty sensitive, with a Mohs hardness rating that ranges between 6.5 and 7.  It should never be worn when doing physical activities where it can be scratched or fractured from a hard blow.  With that being said, any peridot jewelry should be kept separately from other gems.  Peridot is very sensitive to heat, so ultrasonics and steamers should be avoided.  The best way to clean them is with warm soapy water.

IMG_3514 14k yellow gold fishhook drop earring with one 6-prong set pear shaped peridot suspending one bezel set pear shaped amethyst.  Priced at $1550.

 

All pieces can either be purchased through Instagram, over the phone, or in-store.