August is one of five months during the year that offers three different birthstones to choose from. Most commonly, peridot is the one selected by most people, instead of the less common spinel and sardonyx. The word “peridot” comes from an Arabic word meaning “gem”, and it boasts a rich and storied history. Generally known for its brilliant green color, the semi-precious gemstone does vary in the shade of green depending on the levels of iron and magnesium. Originally mined primarily in Egypt, the gemstone can be found in areas all over the world. Today, most peridot is mined in Arizona. Peridot is a remarkable gem that is revered across the world. It may represent those born in August, but it is also considered the appropriate gem to give for a sixteenth wedding anniversary. In this article, we will take a closer look at this incredible jewel.
Peridot is a silicate mineral that is formed primarily from the mineral olivine. It can vary in shade from bright green to a yellow or brown hue depending on the other minerals combined with a particular gemstone. Most often, peridot can be found in volcanic basalt (lava), and forms in the upper mantle, as opposed to the earth’s crust. Some peridot is also found in meteorites that have fallen to earth. However, this is rarer. Other minerals which may be included in peridot are lithium, nickel, and zinc.
One amazing characteristic of peridot is that finding a gem-quality stone is especially rare. Most peridots found are not pristine enough to cut into gemstones. This increases the rarity and makes each piece of peridot jewelry a truly special piece. The cost of a peridot can also vary greatly depending on the quality and size of the gem. This is determined by examining aspects including the color shade and clarity.
The recorded history of peridot goes back many centuries. In fact, peridot mining began in earnest around 300 BC on St. John’s Island in the Egyptian Red Sea. The Egyptians so revered the stone that it is the country’s official gemstone to this day. The stone was also popular in European cathedrals and other religious items during the Middle Ages. It has also been considered that Cleopatra was often adorned in peridot. Many people admire the stone, which is similar to, but slightly softer than the emerald. Peridot is often referred to as the “evening emerald” because of how well it scintillates under artificial lighting. Peridot displays in both the Museum of Natural History in New York and the Field Museum in Chicago. A peridot gemstone weighing 310 carats is held at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, DC.
To keep your peridot looking its very best, regular cleaning is recommended. This can be done with warm, soapy water. Because it is a softer gemstone, special care should be taken to avoid scratches and hard hits. Also, beware of drastic temperature changes which can also damage the stone. It is important to note that peridot should not be cleaned in an ultrasonic cleaner.
Whether you or your loved one has an August birthday, you are celebrating a 16th wedding anniversary, you want to match a special outfit, or you simply love the look, peridot jewelry is available at Paffrath and Son Jewelers in many different styles and applications. From sleek peridot pendants to adorable gemstone rings, we have or can custom create the piece you are looking for. Stop by our store today to see our fine selection of peridot jewelry, or for any of your jewelry needs. We look forward to serving you.