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Peridot: August Birthstone

Updated on February 13, 2011

Peridot is a beautiful, yet somewhat underrated gemstone

Up until just a few years ago Peridots were a little hard to get. Known sources were somewhat depleted.

However recent finds in of find gem grade Peridot in Pakistan and Afghanistan have revived the popularity of this gem.

Today fine gems of up to 5 carats can be purchased for a reasonable price.

Peridot is an old gem with a long history.

Peridot gems have been mined for at least 4000 years

Peridot used to be call Topazion because it was discovered on the Island of Topazios in the Red Sea. Today that island is known as Zebiret or the Isle of St. John.

In the eighteen century the mineral Topaz was officially given it’s name and the gem form of Olivine was given the name Peridot.

Peridot is the official birthstone for the month of August as adopted by the American National Association of Jewelers in 1912.

How do you pronounce the word Peridot?

How do you pronounce the word Peridot? Peridot has got to be the most mispronounced name of all common gemstones.

So is it pronounce

Pear-a-doh

Pear-a-doe

Pear-i-doh

Pear-i-doe

pear-a-dot

Per-i-dot

Per-e-doh

Per-a-doh

Pear-e-dot

The correct pronunciation is actually per'i-dot however some dictionaries list the correct pronunciation as pear-a-doe.

Peridot

Facts, myths and legends

According to legends you will be protected from evil if you wear peridot.

With their rich green color and a hint of yellow Peridot has often been mistaken for Emeralds.

Some of Cleopatra's famous Emeralds were actually Peridot.

Peridot has been mined for more then 3500 years. The oldest known mine is St. John's Island, Egypt in the Red Sea.

Today most Peridot comes from China, Brazil, Kenya, Norway and new mines in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Physical Properties of Peridot

Peridot Chemical composition: (MgFe)2SiO4

Class: nesosilicate

Crystal system: orthorhombic; 2/m2/m2/m

Crystal habit: commonly as compact or granular masses, also as loose or embedded grains, sometimes in volcanic nodules. Crystals are rare, usually as vertically striated prisms.

Twinning: twinning is uncommon, simple twinning can occur on {100}, {011}, and {012}. Cyclic twinning on {031} reportedly produces trillings.

Specific gravity: 3.22 - 3.45, increases with iron content

Index of refraction: 1.65 - 1.69, increases with iron content

Birefringence: strong, (0.035 - 0.038)

Pleochroism: weak; pale yellow-green to yellow/pale yellow-green to yellow/yellow to yellow orange

Hardness: 6.5 to 7, hardness increases with magnesium content

Color: olive green, green, yellow, brown

Luster: vitreous to oily

Transparency: transparent to translucent

Cleavage: poor on {010} and {110}, {010} cleavage improves with increasing iron content

Fracture: conchoidal

Streak: colorless

Dark Green Peridot round gem
Dark Green Peridot round gem

Peridot The Birthstone for August

Peridot is the gemstone for the 16th wedding anniversary

Other birthstone for the month of August are

Alexandrite, Carnelian, Diamond, Sapphire, Sardonyx and Ruby.

The Zodiac signs of Leo and Virgo both fall in the month of August.

Leo Jul. 23-Aug. 23 and Virgo Aug. 24-Sep.22

Stone associated with Leo and Virgo are Citrine, Jade, Jasper, Onyx, Tourmaline, and Zircon

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    • profile image

      alisa-minzey 4 years ago

      Pear a doe is the french pronunciation. Probably spoken longer than the american version

    • RickBasset profile image

      RickBasset 6 years ago

      I absolutely love the colour of these stones! I can see why you do what you do. All the gemstones are gorgeous!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Beautiful stones, would love to have one to match my green eyes.

    • Richard-H profile image

      Richard 6 years ago from Surrey, United Kingdom

      Interesting to learn more about the Peridot!

    • Bellezza-Decor profile image

      Bellezza-Decor 9 years ago from Canada

      Nice - lensrolled into my Peridot lens!

    • sisterra profile image

      sisterra 9 years ago

      cool lens!

    • DogWhisperWoman1 profile image

      DogWhisperWoman1 9 years ago

      5 stars NO ?!!! Dog Whisper Woman

    • purplelady profile image

      purplelady 10 years ago

      As a child I hated it that my birthstone was Peridot and not something like diamond, garnet or opal. Now that I have aged and have seen some beautiful jewelry with Peridot, I am proud to be an August birthday. These are great lenses on the different gems. Do you see stars?