Peridot (chrysolite), a stunning semi-precious gemstone formed deep within the earth and brought to the surface through volcanic eruptions, is one of the few gems that exist in only one colour.
This gem’s saturation and colour can vary with origin, however, Peridot comes in many beautiful shades of green and is one of few gems that is never treated for colour in any way. The lime green colour is the most traditional representation which can often be seen in both modern and antique jewellery.
With a hardness of 3-4 on the Mohs’ scale of mineral hardness, Peridot is not as hard as other precious and semi-precious stones, although this generally doesn’t effect value. It is common to find peridot rough in the USA, Asia, North Africa, the Middle East, and a few specific mines in Norway. However, some of the most beautiful gem-quality Peridots originate from Asia and Pakistan.
Historically, Peridot was referred to as Olivine. This is most likely due the colour similarities between the gem and green olives. However, in 1705 at St. Albany Abbey it was re-named to Peridot to reduce its confusion with the Emerald trade.
Peridot (chrysolite) is the birthstone for the zodiac sign of Libra and one of three birthstones for birth month of August with the others being Spinel and Onyx (Sardonyx).
The scales that represent the Libra symbolise the Libra’s need for balance throughout their life and Peridots are believed to help the Libra in maintaining their intellect and a balance in their life, as well as balance in their physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health.
Peridot, which has been used throughout history by different civilisations, was associated with the sun by the Ancient Egyptians and thought to protect the wearer from evil. It is also said to increase the curative power of medicinal drugs and aid in warding off negativity.