Peridot - The Gemstone for August Birthstone Jewelry

Peridot is the contemporary birthstone for August, and as well as being used in August birthstone jewelry is the gem selected to celebrate the sixteenth wedding anniversary. This particular stone is a type of olivine which is a mixture of 2 minerals, forsterite and foylite. It's still quite uncertain where the word peridot comes from, whether it is derived from the French word peritot, which means unclear or the word for gem in Arabic, faridat. Whichever is true the French were the first to call this unique greenish-yellow stone peridot around the 18th century. Before then the Peridot gemstone was simply known as topaz.

For 4000 years peridot has been mined as a precious stone and is even talked about in the Bible where it was was called by the Hewbrews, pitdah. Peridot is the state gemstone of Egypt and was used by the Egyptians as early as 1500 B.C. It was named the “gem of the sun” since ancient miners held that it shone with a green light that made the gem easy to find. This beautiful gemstone is becoming wildly fashionable because of the stories identifying it as the favorite gemstone of Cleopatra.

Description of the Peridot Precious Stone

Throughout time and years this valuable August gemstone has often been mistaken for other gemstones. The peridot birthstone is usually described as a light sea green with a hint of yellow. The most commonly known gems mistaken for the peridot are garnets, apatite, zircon and emeralds, although these hardly ever possess the appealing component of yellow that compliments the peridot's green color.

The Quality of Peridot Gemstones

Peridots that contain an iron percentage of less than 16% and trace elements nickel and chromium are of the best quality. Peridot is found in Australia, Brazil, Mexico, Ethiopia, the USA and Germany. Originally the best quality peridot was found in Egypt but a number of outstanding specimens have been found in Pakistan that challenge this claim. The gemstones that come from Arizona are of inferior quality but are more abundant, which makes them much more affordable for many people. About 85 – 95% of global production of peridot is from Arizona. Gems from Pakistan and Egypt are far rarer and of better quality and therefore are quite valuable.

Mystical Beliefs About the Peridot

This gorgeous August birthstone is a symbol for dignity and success and it's also thought of a shield for for all the body as it defends against negativity. It's also linked with stress reduction and relaxation. The Ancient Egyptians used this precious stone to clean and heal the heart. Some sicknesses such as asthma and fever were cured by placing crushed peridot under the tongue. Another belief is that setting the gemstone in gold will increase it's powers.

For the meanings of birthstones see Birthstones and Their Meanings

Conclusion

Peridot is a lovely gem in its own right and is becoming widely fashionable. Peridot gemstones can be fun collectors items and they make perfect August birthstone jewelry gifts.

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