August’s Birthstone – Peridot
What is Peridot?
- Peridot is a variety of the gem Olivine. It comes in a transparent yellowy-greenish tone and is one of the few gems that only comes in only one colour.
What is the meaning of the Peridot birthstone?
- Peridot is associated with the August birth month, and the Leo star sign.
- Since the earliest civilisations, Peridot has been prized for its alleged protective powers. Peridot is said to drive away fears and nightmares, to ward off evil spirits, to bring the wearer good luck, to sharpen the mind, and to allow the owner to reach new levels in terms of mentality and personal growth.
- Peridot has therefore come to represent lack of fear and an unrestricted mind.
- Peridot also represents someone who is very in touch with their spirituality.
Due to their powerful associations, beautiful pieces of Peridot jewellery make meaningful gifts for the August birthday in your life.
What are the characteristics of Peridot?
- Peridot is considered an ‘idiochromatic’ gem, meaning its chemical composition leads to its colour, and as such, is the reason it only exists in one colour.
- However, the colour of Peridot depends on the levels of iron found inside the gem. This means that – while Peridot will always be olive-green – it may range from a yellow tinged green to brown-ish green. The lighter the colour, the lower the amount of iron within the stone.
- Interestingly, the ‘inclusions’ (these are the little flaws found within the gem) inside Peridot tends to depend on the area in which the stone was found. This means that a jeweller might be able to tell which area of the world your Peridot was sourced from, just by looking at it!
- Peridot is a medium-hard gem, coming in at 6.7-7 on the Mohs scale.
Where is Peridot found?
- Interestingly Peridot is one of the only gems that isn’t found in the Earth’s crust. Instead, it is found in volcanic rocks found in lava.
- The San Carlos Apache Indian Reservation in Arizona is the main source of Peridot to this day.
- However, Peridot can be found in lots of different areas around the world, including other parts of America, Mexico, Australia, and countries in Asia and Africa.
What is the history of Peridot?
- It is uncertain what the correct etymology of the name ‘Peridot’ comes from. The Latin word ‘paederot’ is an opal-esque stone, while the Arabic word ‘faridat’ means gem.
- In history, the earliest use of the word ‘Peridot’ is found in the register of the St Albans Abbey. It says that in 1245, on his deathbed, Bishop John gave certain items to the Abbey, including Peridot gems.
- Interestingly, some of the first known peridots were found on an island in the Red Sea, mined by the Egyptians. Historically the island was called Topazios, which is the Ancient Greek word for ‘gem’. Strangely, the miners only worked at nighttime as they believed that the gem was ‘invisible’ in the daylight, and that the gem glowed in the dark.
Fun facts about Peridot
- Sometimes Peridot is confused with emeralds and other green gems, however Peridot will always be a more olive-toned green compared to other gems.
- The largest Peridot stone on record is a 310 carat Peridot, which is held at the Smithsonian Museum in Washington DC.
- Peridot is the gem typically given for the 16th wedding anniversary.
- Peridot is – to this day – the national gemstone of Egypt.
What are the best Peridot birthstone gifts?
If you’re looking for a meaningful birthday gift for an August birthday, a piece of Peridot jewellery they can treasure forever makes an excellent choice. Why not gift a beautiful Peridot pendant necklace, or a sleek multi-stone Peridot ring? Alternatively, give your loved one the gift of choice, with a The Diamond Store gift card.
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Exquisite peridot jewellery for August occasions