Peridot comes in such a cheery, bright shade of green, it is no wonder that it has been symbolic of happiness, loyalty, and friendship. It has an interesting history throughout ancient cultures, including everything from preventing "terrors of the night" to being strung on donkey's hair and tied around the left arm to ward off evil.
Ancient Egyptians even believed that peridot disappeared in sunlight and glowed at night, so it was mined in darkness. Today, the majority of the world's production of peridot is mined on the San Carlos reservation in Arizona . . . but we are not sure whether it's mined during the day or night ;-) .
Cleopatra’s Favorite Gemstone: The ancient Egyptians treasured and valued green gemstones. It is believed that at that point in time, it was hard for the uneducated eye to tell the difference between the two beautiful green stones, Emerald and Peridot, so they occasionally mistook one for the other. Cleopatra however was said to favor the Peridot.
Peridot has been the official August Birthstone since 1912, but its history goes back much further than that. The name comes from the French word « peritot » - which means gold - likely because the stone's hue can vary toward the color gold. Peridot is also given to celebrate a 16th Wedding Anniversary.
Peridot is an idiochromatic gem, meaning its color comes from the basic chemical composition of the mineral itself and not from minor traces of impurities. Thus, peridot is found only in green. In fact, peridot is one of the few gemstones available that can be found only in one color, although the shades of green may vary from light yellowish to dark brownish-green.
Historically, the volcanic island of Zabargad (St. John) in the Red Sea, east of Egypt, had the most important deposit that was exploited for over 3500 years. Today, the finest quality peridot comes from Mogok in Burma, although Pakistani peridot is now highly regarded as well. There are other very important deposits found in Arizona, China and Vietnam. Peridot has also been discovered in fallen meteors and it has also been discovered on Mars and the moon in olivine form. Enjoy browsing our Peridot Jewelry pieces here.