Peridot is the modern birthstone for August, and as well as being used in August birthstone jewelry is the gem selected to mark the 16th wedding anniversary. This particular gemstone is a variety of olivine which is a combination of 2 minerals, foylite and forsterite. It is still quite uncertain where the word peridot comes from, whether it is from the French word peritot, which means unclear or the word for gem in Arabic, faridat. Whichever is true the gem was named peridot, by the French sometime in the 18th century. Before this time the Peridot precious stone was just called topaz.
For more than 4000 years peridot has been mined as a gemstone and is even discussed in the Bible where it was was called by the Hewbrews, pitdah. Peridot is the state gem of Egypt and was used by the Egyptians from as early as fifteen hundred B.C. It was called the “sun gem” because miners from long ago thought that it shone with a light that made the crystal easier to locate. This exquisite precious stone is becoming wildly popular perhaps because of the legend identifying it as Cleopatra’s favorite jewel.
Description of the Peridot Gemstone
Throughout time and years this valuable August precious stone has often been mistaken for other gemstones. The peridot birthstone can be described as a light sea green with a hint of yellow. The gems most often confused with the peridot are garnets, apatite, zircon and emeralds, although these hardly ever possess the pretty tint of yellow that looks so attractive with the peridot’s green color.
The Quality of Peridot Gemstones
Peridots having less than 15% iron and trace elements nickel and chromium are considered to be the best quality. Peridot comes from Pakistan, Mexico, Brazil, Germany, Ethiopia, Austalia and the USA. Originally the best quality peridot came from Egypt but some remarkable specimens have been discovered in Pakistan that some think are even finer. The gems that come from Arizona are of lesser quality but are more plentiful, so making them more affordable for many people. Around 85 – 95% of all world production of peridot is from Arizona. Gems from Egypt and Pakistan are better quality and rarer and thus are quite expensive.
Magical Powers of the Peridot
This gorgeous August birthstone symbolizes success and it’s also considered a shield for for all the body as it keeps away negativity. It is also associated with reduction of stress and relaxation. The Ancient Egyptians used this gem to clean and heal the heart. Some illnesses such as fever and asthma were thought to be cured by putting crushed peridot beneath the tongue. There is also a belief that it’s powers are amplified by setting it in gold.
August Birthstone Jewelry
Peridot is a delightful jewel in its own right and is becoming increasingly popular. Peridot gems can be fun collectors items and they make lovely August birthstone jewelry gifts.