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August's birthstone is Peridot

August's birthstone is Peridot Picture 1

11 November 2017

August’s birthstone, peridot, is the gem quality variety of the common mineral olivine. In geological terms, olivine is a mantle-mineral, brought to the surface of the earth by volcanic eruptions. In Hawaiian folklore, peridot symbolizes the tears of Pele, the volcano goddess of fire who controls the flow of lava on the islands.

Peridot has always been associated with light and, in fact, the Egyptians called it the “gem of the sun.” Some believed that it protected its owner from “terrors of the night,” especially when it was set in gold. The word peridot comes from the Arabic “faridat,” which means “gem.” 

Unlike many other minerals, the green colour of peridot is a direct result of the mineral’s composition, rather than a result of trace element impurities which typically colour other gemstones. The lime green colour of peridot may however very from yellowish-green to brownish-green and olive colours, depending on the amount of iron present in the crystal.

Whilst olivine is a relatively abundant mineral, gem quality peridot is relatively rare, due to the mineral’s chemical instability at the earth’s surface. Historically, the ancient Egyptians mined peridot on the island of Zabargad, in the Red Sea. Today, much of the world’s peridot comes from Arizona in the USA, but other mining locations worldwide include Pakistan, Vietnam, China & Tanzania.

Peridot has always been associated with light and, in fact, the Egyptians called it the “gem of the sun.” Some believed that it protected its owner from “terrors of the night,” especially when it was set in gold. The word peridot comes from the Arabic “faridat,” which means “gem.” 

Peridot has a very high double refraction measurement, so when cut perfectly, you can see two of each pavilion facet on the stone. Although peridot comes in a very small range of green colours, the most favoured peridot colour is a richly saturated grass green, typically only found in peridot gems over 10cts in size. Smaller sized gems tend to show yellowish green hues.

Considered a semi-precious gem, peridot measures 6.5 to 7 on Moh’s hardness scale, the same as tanzanite. In addition to being the birthstone for August, peridot is also the gemstone associated with 15th wedding anniversaries.

Katannuta Diamonds has a large range of loose peridot gemstones available for purchase in South Africa. Call us today to make an appointment to discuss your perfect peridot birthstone or anniversary jewellery. 

Kewyords: peridot, ldquo, rdquo, gem, rsquo, green