Peridot: The Color of August

I was walking past my favorite jewelry store earlier this week and I couldn’t help but window shop. As I peered into their front windows, I noticed several of their display pieces had the same color of green stone in them. I briefly thought how interesting that was and then it hit me…they were peridot, August’s birthstone.

 Quick pronunciation lesson:

I have always heard peridot pronounced with the “t” sound at the end: perra-dot. However, in the courses I have been taking through the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), they pronounce it perra-doe, without the “t” sound. I’m not positive on which one is correct, but I tend to go with what the GIA says because they are generally considered the authority in the industry.

 Peridot is a variety of the mineral olivine. This is a fairly common mineral which is found in igneous and metamorphic rocks. Peridot is a transparent version of the stone and can range in color from yellow- to olive- to brownish-green. The most valued color is a dark olive-green. Most of the stones I have seen are a lighter green or a yellow-green. The shade of green is determined by how much iron is found in the stone.

 Because of the green color, peridot is sometimes confused with emeralds. Please note these are two different stones with two different values.

 Peridot can be found almost all over the world. It is commonly mined in Egypt, Australia, Brazil, China, Kenya, Mexico, Myanmar, Norway, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, and Tanzania. It is even found in the United States in North Carolina, Arizona, Hawaii, Nevada, and New Mexico. Some has also been found in Wyoming.

 Peridot has been used in jewelry throughout history. It has been found in remains of ancient Egyptian and Roman jewelry. It  had gone out of favor for quite some time, but in the 1990s a large deposit of very fine peridot stones was discovered and that has put the stone back into the market.

 If you are curious about metaphysical properties, peridot is a good stone to hold onto. It is said that peridot can help one move past hurt and heartache by providing emotional balance and healing to damaged egos. It is also thought to promote cleansing and healing of the physical parts of the body if worn during an illness.

 After seeing the display at my local jewelry store, I got to thinking that I would like to use peridot in a jewelry piece. It’s a little priceier than most of the stones I use, but it is a beautiful green color. Now that I have read about the metaphysical properties of the stone, perhaps it’s worth it to give peridot a try. If nothing else, it really looks stunning in a shiny sterling silver (or white gold) setting and I love my white metals.

 Let me know if some peridot would interest you. Perhaps we can work together on a custom piece for you!

 Thanks for stopping by!

 PS: If you are in the Manheim/Lancaster area today (Aug. 26), stop by the Manheim railroad station this afternoon! It’s the last day of the Artists’ Alley Art & Craft show for the summer.


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