With a history that goes back to more than 3, 500 years, Peridot is the traditional birthstone of August. Its uniqueness lies in the color which is a distinctive lime green. However, it comes in several other color variations that ranges from yellowish green to brown and olive greens. Peridot is one of the oldest known gemstones. Peridot is formed deep inside the earth, under intense heat and pressure and comes out during a volcanic eruption. Today, it is mostly sourced from places like Arizona, Myanmar, Pakistan, China etc.
People in the ancient times believed that Peridot is a gift of Mother Nature and was used to commemorate the creation of a whole new world. The gemstone is often confused with emerald due to the bright green color. It is sometimes identified as “evening emerald” because of the brilliant green that alights under artificial light. Evidence has shown that the many treasures of Cleopatra are supposedly Peridot and not emerald as was largely believed. It was referred to as the gem of the sun by the Egyptians who used them in the early 1500 BC.
The very first source of peridot is documented in the small St. John’s Island, today known as Zabargad, an Egyptian island. It is also found mentioned in many ancient references, including the Bible. The Catholic Bishops are still known to wear peridot and amethyst ring to represent purity. Napoleon is said to have made a gift out of peridot and presented it to Josephine to show his undying love. In Hawaii, the gemstone is said to represent the tears of the goddess Pele. There are some Hawaiian beaches that are said to be scattered with tiny peridots which are too small to cut.
Previously, all green stones were known by the name smaragdus. Slowly distinctions were made between the different green variety gemstones and gradually words like “emerald” and “peridot” appeared. Not much is known about the origin of the word Peridot though it appears to have come from the Arabic word Faridat which means unclear. The yellowish-green variety was referred to as Peridot by the French back in the 18th century and much before this period it was known as Topaz.
Peridot is believed to protect the wearer against evil and from all kinds of negativity. It has great relaxing, stress reduction properties and is also used as a remedy for asthma. It is also said to bring peace of mind and good luck to the wearer and protect them against nightmares. It is known to lighten fear, alleviate anger and emotional suffering. It is also used as a whole body tonic and has healing properties for the lungs, heart, eyes and stomach.
The beautiful and elegant green gemstone can be mounted on any kind of jewelry settings like a pair of dangles, bracelet, a pair of stud, necklace or a pendant. The green color of the gemstone, especially, looks great on white metal types like platinum or white gold. Their beauty is more enhanced against a white setting, though gold metal also complements well.
August Birthstone Poem:
Wear a Peridot or for thee,
No conjugal fidelity,
The August born without this stone,
`Tis said, must live unloved; alone.