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Peridot, Gemstone of the Sun

Peridot

Whenever someone mentions “Peridot” (Peh-rih-doe), I always visualise a bright greeny-yellow stone. The colour is close to that of fresh limes, and I can’t help but conjure up pictures of vast green fields and meadows with yellow pinpricks of daisies and buttercups on a bright, hot August day without a cloud in the sky.

That said, the actual colour for Peridots can range from a deep, almost emerald-green to its common olive and more rarely through to a bright yellow with hints of lime.

It’s no surprise then that Peridot – the birthstone of August – has a history related to the summer and the sun.

Historically

It was revered by the Egyptians as the gemstone of the sun, and was believed to protect wearers from night terrors – especially when it was set in Gold. Even their most celebrated figures are believed to have worn it.

Cleopatra was originally thought to have owned a huge collection of Emeralds however recent research had led to speculation that many of the stones were actually Peridots. While Emeralds can be found in Africa – such as in Zimbabwe to the south – and nearby parts of Asia, such as Afghanistan and Pakistan, the Ancient Egyptians are known to have mined Peridot from an island in the Red Sea.

Mix-ups

As one of the less widely known green gemstones, Peridot has been confused with other gems throughout its history. When it was mined by the Egyptians, they believed it was a type of Topaz (the island was called Topazios). It was also confused with Emerald in Germany.

The Cathedral in Cologne houses the shrine of the three Holy Kings, which is set with many fabulous green gemstones – peridots, rather than Emeralds as previously believed.

R 63 17PD - Peridot 2-Stone RingOrigins

Peridot is the given name for gemstone-quality Olivine. Created in the underground furnace of a volcano, Peridot is found in volcanic (and previously volcanic) areas, and occasionally makes its way to the surface during eruptions or forms as part of lava rocks. Its colour is derived from the presence of nickel and iron oxides.

Lore

Peridot has been used throughout history as a way of protecting oneself. It is thought to bring peace, good luck and success and to have the power to protect, as well as aid sleep and promote health.

It is also believed to create calm by dispelling negative energy and emotion, especially anger, and to have the ability to attract love in their stead.

A selection of Peridot stonesUses

Peridot is the birthstone of August, as well as being the official gemstone for celebrating 16 years of marriage and the gemstone of the star-sign Libra.

You can find peridot jewellery at our online shop, as well as our bricks-and-mortar outlets. And if you can’t find the perfect piece for you, don’t worry. We offer a complete design and manufacturing service, guaranteeing that you can own the perfect piece, or even a unique set of jewellery created especially for you.

Edward Gray
Ed Gray was born in the UK, has obtained a Physics degree, and currently has a love for Lego, Martial Arts, Movies & the odd Sci-Fi / Fantasy book.