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Peridot

Birthstone: August

Anniversary stone: 16th year of marriage

Peridot

History

Known as the "gem of the sun" by the ancient Egyptians, the majority of today's peridot comes from Arizona with several mines also still in production in China and Pakistan. Created under extreme heat and pressure, peridot can be found in rocks created by volcanoes and even in meteors that fall to earth. In fact, Hawaii's volcanoes have produced so much peridot that the island of Oahu even has beaches made from tiny grains of the gemstone.

Characteristics

Peridot is what is known as an idiochromatic gem. The gemstones vivid green colour is actually part of its composition, whereas gems such as ruby and sapphire are coloured by traces of other minerals found within their structure.

Peridot's unique appearance is due to the way that light is refracted through the stone which creates a velvety lustre and a high shine. Like many other naturally occurring gems, peridot is available in a wide variety of different shades from rich grass green to yellow and brown. Its striking colour has made it increasingly popular and it is now accepted as a more affordable substitute for emeralds.

The Mohs' scale measures a gems relative hardness on a scale of 1 to 10 based on the stones "scratchability". Diamond is the hardest at 10, sapphire and rubies measure 9, with pearl at around 3 ½ and amber at 2½ Peridot is softer than some other gems measuring 6 ½ on the Mohs’ scale.

Care and Cleaning

Peridot is not as hard as other gemstones and will require care and attention from the wearer to protect it from scratches. Rapid changes in temperature should be avoided as this could damage the stone, for this reason ultra sonic and steam cleaners should not be used. To keep your jewellery looking its best it should be cleaned using warm soapy water and a soft toothbrush to clean any dust from behind the stone.

Legend and Lore

The ancient Romans called peridot the "evening emerald" as its brilliant green colour did not darken at night and was still visible by lamplight. The Egyptians actually mined the gemstone by night as legend has it that peridot could not easily be seen during the day.

Peridot is said to possess many healing properties and is also believed to attract love and wealth. Peridot is used to dispel negative emotions, promote sleep and calm anger.