We continue our segment on birthstones with this month’s glistening green gem, the peridot (pronounced either peh-ruh-daat or peh-ruh-doe). Famous primarily for its designation as August’s birthstone, Peridot gems hold secrets that passionate collectors have been trying to unravel for centuries. Thanks to modern advances in mining and gemology, we’ve uncovered a few of those once hidden riddles. Read on to discover the out-of-this-world beauty of the peridot.
People have been confusing Emerald and Peridot for Centuries
Some believe Cleopatra’s famous collection of emeralds might actually have been peridot. Either way, the legendary queen colored the world green with envy!
Peridot Can Help You Relax
For many, the color green invokes feelings of safety, calm, and rejuvenation. The peridot reflects this quality with its yellow-green brilliance. Look down at the gem during a hectic day for a quick session of color therapy!
A section of the translucent Esquel meteorite reveals a kaleidoscope of peridot crystals from outer space. Courtesy of Robert A. Haag; photo by GIA/Robert Weldon.
Peridot is Extraterrestrial, Sometimes
According to the Gemological Institute of America, “peridot crystals are found in meteorites: some rare extraterrestrial crystals are even big enough to facet as cut gemstones.” This off-planet birth makes some peridot the oldest gemstones on earth! Indeed, they’re out of this world!
Diamonds and Peridot Alone Share a Common Trait
The peridot and diamond are the only gems originating outside of the earth’s crust. Aside from space, the peridot can be found in lava and brought to fruition by the powerful movement of the earth’s plates.
They Occasionally Enjoy a Little TLC
Like pearls, peridot should not be cleaned in ultrasonic or steam cleaners. They enjoy, instead, a simple bath of soapy water when necessary.
Overall, this month’s gem is a striking reminder of the beauty often hidden just below the more apparent surface.