Peridot : A Gemstone of Vitality

By: rosemary
Peridot is a lovely green gem which is sometimes confused with emerald. It tends to be clearer than emerald. Peridot is made up of the mineral forsterite (magnesium silicate), a member of the olivine mineral family. It comes in shades of yellowish green to darker, purer green colors.

In fact, pure forsterite is colorless, however, the presence of iron produces shades of green. The more the iron content, the darker is the color of the stone. If there is too much iron, the stone becomes dark colored with brown tones, which makes it less attractive. Good quality peridot is deep, pure green in color. It is very attractive but very rare.

Peridot gemstone has a distinctly oily appearance and greasy luster. It has a high birefringence, hence, doubling of the back facets can easily be seen when viewed from the front. Birefringence refers to the property of light as it travels through certain directions in the crystal, it would split into two paths and produces two separate images.

Peridot is a relatively soft gemstone and thus, it can chip and scratch easily. Special care should be taken in wearing it so as to protect it from scratches. Peridot is widely available in small sizes. The larger stones are becoming scarce, hence, the prices for good quality ones with high carat weights are fairly high.

The Red Sea island, which is known today as Zabargad, is an important source of peridot. Burma, Arizona (United States), Norway, Brazil, Australia, Pakistan, China, and South Africa are also sources of peridot. China produces large amounts of small sizes of less than two carats stones and they are pale green in color.

Due to the low prices of these Chinese peridots, these gems become one of the most affordable gems in Asia. Traditionally, some of the largest, finest specimens of peridot have come from Myanmar, however, Pakistan is now mining similarly large and beautiful pieces.

Peridot was a favorite of the ancients and is known to be a powerful gem. From early times, peridot has been associated with the sun and was believed to have medicinal powers. According to history, peridot was commonly used to adorn religious objects in Europe. Peridot was believed to be able to free the mind of envious thoughts and was considered to be an aid to friendship. Due to its yellowish green color, it was also believed to cure or prevent diseases of the liver and dropsy.

Gemstones are considered beautiful, rare and durable. The beauty of a gemstone is undiminished with time. A gemstone could sparkle as brightly many years from now. It has lasting value and is well liked by many. Hence, beautiful pieces of gemstone jewelry are created and widely used for personal adornment as well as gifts for friends and loved ones. Presenting these beautiful items as gifts is always well loved and cherished.

Peridot is the birthstone for the month of August. As such, a piece of jewelry with this gemstone makes a perfect elegant birthday present for those who were born in that month. You will be amazed how this beautiful gemstone can be made into different jewelry items such as rings, bracelets, earrings, necklaces, brooches and pendants. With such a wide variety of items, you will never experience any shortage of gift ideas.

Some people buy gems for the purpose of collecting them. They find these gems fascinating and enjoy having a collection of the pieces that they like.
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