Peridot, the gem of light, receives it’s name from the Arabic word for a gem, “faridat”. Peridot is best known for its vibrant lime green color and being August baby’s birthstone. It is also the designated gemstone to celebrate the 15th wedding anniversary. This lovely gem has had a bit of a confusing history, often being labeled as “topaz” and maybe even “emerald”. The Three Holy Kings in Germany’s Cologne Cathedral shrine has adorned a 200ct green gem which was believed to have been an emerald for centuries, but in fact, it is a peridot.
This gem can be found in a narrow variety of green hues, mostly yellowish or brownish. It is a gem variety of the mineral olivine mostly found in lava flows and solidified molten rocks. The rarer place to find these little green gems is in meteorites that formed from the birth of our solar system and had fallen to earth. Chances are, the peridot in your jewelry will not be one of the alien nature.
Ancient Egyptians treasured peridot and call it’s “the gem of the sun.” Maybe they knew something we didn’t. They mined most of their collections from the island of Zabargad, also known as St. John’s Island, located in the Red Sea. There is a debate that Cleopatra’s famous emerald collection is, in fact, a collection of peridot.
There is a belief that peridot can ward off evil spirits and nightmares, but the gem must be worn at night to bring its owner protection. Also, a conviction that it could cure digestion issues along with other health concerns. Sometimes people would even consume the gems for them to work their magic.
Peridot is a lovely gem set in either white or yellow gold. You can also find it cut into a wide selection of shapes, including beads. If you know someone who is a green lover, this beauty will make a perfect gift.
3rd Generation Jeweler and Sales Manager for Wirt’s Jewelers