The characteristics of the peridot and the advice for choosing ♦
The peridot is all the rage. In addition to being the stone of the month of August, it is beloved by those jewelers who like colors with a strong personality, which can not be confused with others. And the olive color of the peridot is without doubt unique. The name peridot in French language comes from the Arabic word faridat, that meaning jewel. This stone has, in fact, a long history: it was already known by the ancient Egyptians around 1500 BC, they called “gem of the sun.” Also was loved by Cleopatra, who sported them.
What is it. The peridot, also referred to as the chrysolite, is not a very common stone. It is located mainly in depth (even 200-300 kilometers below the earth’s crust): this gem is then brought to the earth’s surface by earthquakes or volcanoes.
Where is it. Peridot is mined in Arizona (smaller and lighter in color), Myanmar (Burma), Sri Lanka and China, but also in Pakistan and Kenya. A curiosity: some peridots were discovered in some meteorites.
Features. Unlike many other gemstones, peridot has only one color: the pale green. however, it can take different shades, from olive green, lime, yellow or dark. The shades most in demand is the green forest, a little ‘to yellow and no brown tinge. The depth of green depends on the amount of iron which is contained in the crystal structure. It is not a very hard stone: you have to be careful, then, not to scratch it. Usually jewelers try to arrange it so that it is most protected.
Buying Guide. If you want a jewel with a peridot a certain size, know that the commercial quality is divided into classes A and B. The first are clear, without brown tones. Those quality B have a paler color or have visible inclusions. It is also a relatively inexpensive gemstone if the weight is under 4 carats. Over 10 carat peridot become very rare and expensive.
Why is it called peridot? The origin of the name peridot is not precisely known. Certainly, however, the stone was appreciated in antiquity. According to some the word derives an alteration of Anglo-Norman language pedoretés, translated into classical Latin with pæderot. Others indicate instead that the word peridot derives rather from the Arabic word faridat, which means gem.
The largest olivine peridot is a 310-carat specimen (62 grams) in the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, DC.