If you’ve ever planned a wedding or been a bridesmaid, you probably noticed that it’s hard to find a color that looks good on everybody. But the warm yellowish green of August’s birthstone, the peridot, is beautiful on blondes, brunettes and redheads, and flatters light and dark skin tones. Even if you were born in one of the other 11 months, you might still want to add some peridots to your jewelry collection. Amidon has perfect peridots waiting for you.
Peridot is actually the highest quality type of olivine, a mineral group named for its green hue. While olivine is found on most continents, the gem quality olivine which yields beautiful peridot rings and earrings comes mostly from Australia, Brazil, South Africa, Zaire, Norway, Hawaii and Arizona. The exact color depends on how much iron, nickel and chromium are present.
This gem has a long and international history. Archeologists have found peridots in Egyptian tombs. European crusaders brought peridots back from the Far East sometime before 1300. Flemish and Italian artisans embraced the green stone, and it’s become a mainstay of modern jewelry.
Some people believe peridots enhance your emotional clarity, help you be more patient and forgiving, and increase your ability to express tenderness and calm love. For those who prefer down-to-earth therapeutic uses, peridot allegedly eases chronic constipation. Actors can use peridot to dispel stage fright. Gold therapeutically enhances peridot’s effects. Plus, gold and peridot look stunning together.
Gem searchers discovered a large cache of peridot in Pakistan in the 1990s. This great find boosted sales of so-called “Kashmir peridots.” The largest peridot ever found resides in the Smithsonian—all 310 carats of it. If you find yourself in Washington, DC, you should have a look. Remember, the Smithsonian is free. So there’s no reason not to visit and drool over some amazing gems.
If you really want to get far out, a type of meteorite called a pallasite contains peridot from outer space! If you ever see a GIA report describe a gem as “Pallasite peridot,” gemologists determined that jewel has extraterrestrial origins.
Peridots rank 6.5 to 7 on the hardness scale. This is fairly hard, but you’ll want to protect your peridots by taking rings off before doing household work. Peridot earrings and pendants are safer, as you won’t expose them to so much wear and tear.