Peridot has been found on Earth for millions of years, making it one of the oldest known minerals.
It is the gem-quality form of the mineral olivine, which is found in peridotite rock found in the earth's mantle, mostly in the rocks formed by volcanoes. Peridot can be found in China, Vietnam, Finland, Myanmar, and Pakistan. It can also be found in the United States. Most of the peridots I use in my designs are mined in Arizona. But its most interesting source is outer space - peridot has been found in meteorites that have landed on earth.
When a Roman soldier named Pliny found an emerald-colored rock while on duty near modern day Afghanistan, he called it "emeraldum." Where the word peridot itself came from is a topic of debate. Some say it is derived from the Greek word “peri” which means around or surrounding, and 'dotos," which means 'a thing that shines." In other words, a gem that shines like the sun. Others say it is derived from the Arabic word "faridat," which means "gem." In any case, this particular gem has always been associated with light. It has been used for thousands of years by Egyptians, who believed that wearing a piece of peridot would protect them against evil spirits, and Romans, who called the ‘Emeralds of Jupiter’ because they believed them to resemble the planet Jupiter and have magical powers.
What Gemstones is it Most Like?
Because of its rich green color, peridot is often compared to emerald. But peridot is more of an olive green - sometimes with a more yellow tone, and sometimes with a brown tone, whereas the most desirable emeralds are a rich, saturated, true green to slightly blusih green.. A more likely comparison is to topaz, which peridot has been confused with throughout history.
But there are some famous emerald mix-ups! Some historians believe that Cleopatra's famous emerald collection was made entirely of peridot or at least included some peridot. And the 200-carat gems on the shrine of the Three Holy Kings in Germany are all peridot, but for centuries they were thought to be emeralds.
Peridot is available in a wide array of size, shape and price range. I enjoy designing rings, earrings and pendants with peridot- its spring green hue is featured in my” Groundbreaking” Collection. I also love to create custom pieces for our favorite August babies.
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