Peridot is one of the ancient gemstones mined over 3,500 years ago. The stone was considered more valuable than diamonds at one time. This official birthstone for August is also known as Chrysolith and Olivin. For centuries, Peridot was known as the stone for protection. Wearing peridot jewelry is said to be helpful in reaching higher level of insight and consciousness. The stone is associated with the attributes of loyalty, love and truth. Peridot is a member of Olivin family of minerals. The gemstone exists only in one color.
It is not clear whether the name Peridot derived from the Greek, Latin or Arabic languages. Some say the name comes from the Arabic word ‘faridat’, which means gemstone. Others believed peridot originated from the Greek word ‘peridona’, which means ‘giving plenty’. As the stone holds dazzling brilliance and shines brightly in the desert sun, it was called ‘the gem of the sun’ by ancient Egyptians. Finally, the Greeks called the stone the ‘evening emerald’ due to the fact that the stone becomes deeper green at night and glows even stronger. During these ancient times, miners used peridot to mark the gemstone sights at night.
The ancients believed peridot was a springtime stone, and they considered the bright stone a gift from nature. The finest peridots in ancient times came from the St. John’s Island near Egypt in 1500 BC. According to history books, the stone was mined on the Topazo Island (now St. John’s Island) located on the Egyptian Red Sea. Peridot is the National Gem of Egypt and legends state peridot became the favorite ‘emeralds’ of Cleopatra.
The gemstone was well-known to ancient Hebrews and Hawaiians. The Hawaiians called them the tears of their volcanic God – Pele. It is also listed as one of twelve stones worn by the High Priest Aaron, and is mentioned in the texts of the apocalypse. As Chrysolite, the stone is mentioned in the Bible, and Incans were said to use them for clearing of the mind.
Origins of Peridot
The early mining of peridot dates back to 1500 BC when Egyptians mined the stone on St. John’s Island. The island was famous for the finest quality peridots. Today, other than Egypt, China, Myanmar, Brazil, Norway, USA, Australia and South Africa are among the producers of these bright quality gemstones.
Peridot belongs to the Olivine gemstone family and achieves a hardness of 6.5 to 7 on Moh’s scale. The stone is chemically an iron-magnesium silicate. Their iron deposits are responsible for the intense golden green color. Peridot has an orthorhombic crystal structure and varies from yellow-green to olive green to a golden brownish green. Peridots have a distinctive greasy luster and hold remarkable glowing properties.
Peridot is associated with fame, dignity, purity and growth. The stone is said to increase patience and confidence, cleanse negative emotions and protect against negative energy. As a symbol of prosperity and openness, they bring joyful and creative energy. The stone is said to release stress, detoxify and heal the whole body while stimulating the mind. Peridots are also used to treat major emotions like anger and jealousy. This traditional stone is gifted on the 16th marriage anniversary, and said to inspire purification, rebirth and growth.
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