Prominent for being the stone of compassion, peridot has sparkled its way from engagement and wedding rings to sophistication. It’s a good day to fall in love once again with Peridot's warmth and radiance.
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History and Lore
Ancient Egyptians prized these bright green to deep green colored stones and called it “gem of the sun” as it casts protection to its wearer from the terrors of the night (such as terrifying visions and nightmares). Peridot stones were also used for carved talismans and goblets which Egyptian priests use to commune with their nature gods. As early as 1500 B.C. they recorded the mining of peridot in volcanic islands in the Egyptian Red Sea. The location was shrouded with thick fog and was heavily guarded to the extent of executing trespassers and thieves. Peridot’s brilliance was known to the miners and was even used in effectively spotting the stones even in the darkness of night.
Relatively, the Romans hailed peridot as “evening’s emerald” because of its constant lustre even by the candlelight. European emissaries in the middle ages brought back from travels large amounts of peridot stones which they used in decorating their churches and robes. The Shrine of the Three Holy Kings in the cathedral at Cologne, Germany which was thought to be adorned with emerald stones now identified and confirmed as peridot.
Peridot in Jewelry and Style
Early 19th century, parure or matched set of ornaments rose to popularity. Interestingly, a parure (set of earrings, a large brooch, and a necklace) which includes a tiara with huge size of peridot stones, good purity, and in olive color is attributed to Koschert, court jeweller to the extensive Habsburg family in Austria. Archduchess Isabella of Croÿ (1856-1931) is most strongly associated with the tiara and in evidence the first one to use it. She was married to Archduke Friedrich, successor to the Duke of Teschen title.
Peridot is considered a soft gemstone with hardness of 6.5-7 (Mohs scale) it is perfect for earrings, pins, brooches, and pendants. Its versatility makes it the best choice for designers to create a masterpiece both in yellow gold and in sterling silver. Peridot’s warm color ranges from yellow-green, olive green, and brownish. Having a refractive index of 1.650-1.730, peridot has fire and brilliance identified as double refractive.
Peridot as Birthstone
Peridot is the birthstone of August and is tied to zodiac signs Gemini and Libra. It’s no wonder the brilliance of Peridot has shimmered to this day as it is believed to bring harmony in relationships, good health, and peacefulness through calming anger—thus, rebirth of connections.
Peridot is also the traditional gift for the 16th year of marriage along with silver hollowware (bowls and pitchers). Popular modern gifts are peridot wedding rings in sterling silver. Most peridot stones were brought to the earth’s surface through volcanic eruptions while some hitched a ride on meteorites (pallasites). Truly a gift out of this world for your other half!