Affordable and requiring no treatment, this olive-coloured stone is gaining in appeal in the eyes of buyers looking for natural beauty.
From Egypt to Edwardian jewellery, peridot is the gem variety of the mineral olivine. Its name comes from the Arabic "faridat", meaning "precious stone". Peridots are most often olive-green in colour, with yellow as a secondary hue. However, top-quality peridots have a pure green colour with a medium-dark tone.
Significance and history
The story of peridot begins in Egypt, where there is evidence of mining dating back to 1,500 BC on the island of Zabargad. According to historians, the Egyptians called peridots the precious stones of the sun. What remains unclear is whether the green gem that people appreciated and mined in Queen Cleopatra's time was emerald or peridot.
Indian astrology, on the other hand, associates peridots and emeralds with the planet Mercury, so the focus was more on the colour of the stones than on the material itself.
In addition, the similarity of certain precious stones to the hues of spices and fruit added to their appeal as good luck charms, and Peridot's resemblance to the green hue of olives made it a popular talisman for merchants in the Mediterranean.
"Peridot reached its peak in the Edwardian or Belle Époque period," explains jewellery historian Vivienne Becker. "One of the reasons for this was King Edward VII's penchant for this stone, and for green gemstones in general; he was reputed to be an aesthete who took a great interest in the jewellery worn by his queen, Alexandra.
Where can I find it? Origin
Although Peridot is considered an extraterrestrial gem because small quantities have been found in meteorites, most peridots form in the Earth's mantle, like diamonds, and emerge geographically in areas of volcanic activity.
The best-known sources of high-quality stones are Burma (Myanmar) and Afghanistan, but conflict and political isolation have led to a decline in supply.
As a result, the wholesale price of peridot from these two historic origins has risen from $80 per carat 10 years ago to over $300-400 per carat today.
Today, there are five dominant deposits: Burma, Pakistan, the United States (Arizona and New Mexico), China and Vietnam.
Hardness & Care
It has a hardness of 6.5 on the Moh's hardness scale, which makes it softer than emeralds.
The ideal metal to go with your peridot
Peridot goes well with both warm and cool colours, and pairs equally well with white, pink or yellow gold, or platinum. Peridot jewellery will bring light and warmth to whoever wears it.
Peridot is said to have the power to affect the wearer mentally. It improves self-confidence by reducing stress, and gives way to a mind of steel.
The energy contained in this beautiful jewel gives it an important place in spirituality.