What is a Peridot
Many people ask, what is a peridot? The peridot is not a gem stone that you see much written about. It has had a sort of sleepy life until recently when it has started to become popular again.
The Peridot has been used primarily as jewelery through the ages. The first recorded use was in Egyptian jewelery from before 100 years BC with stones from an island in the Red Sea off the Egyptian cost being used at that time. Since then it has also been used in Rome, Europe and gained much popularity during the baroque period for a short while. Recently, in Kashmir, stones of exceptional quality, color and transparency have been found and have helped to make the peridot more popular again.
This gemstone has garnered three names in its life. ‘peridot’ or ‘chrysolite’, from the Greek. ‘Gold stone’, and ‘olivine’. The peridot is a form of the mineral olivine. In the gemstone trade it is called ‘peridot’, derived from the Greek word ‘peridona’, which means ‘to give richness to’.
Curiously, the peridot is one of the very few gemstones that come in only one colour. This is caused by very fine traces of iron contained within the stone. The degree or intensity of the color is caused by how much iron there is in the gemstone. So, although there is only one color the quality and depth of the color can vary. Peridot is also not very hard, like a diamond, but softer, being only 6.5 or 7 on the Mohs scale of hardness where diamond is a ten and talc a one. Nevertheless it is still a robust little stone and fairly easy to look after if treated well.
Some of the best stones come from the border area of Pakistan and Afghanistan but peridots can also be found in Africa, Australia, China, Myanmar (East Burma) Sri Lanka and the USA among others.
Cutting a peridot can be difficult as it cracks easily. It requires some study first to find the coarser inclusions and remove them. Once this is completed the stone is then very stable and can be worn without any special care other than the normal standard care given to any valuable jewel.
Interestingly, peridot is the only gemstone that has been found in meteorites, giving rise to the idea that some gemstones may originate somewhere out there. Whatever the case, to know what a peridot is, is to like and enjoy peridots even more
All the above Peridot are from Israel