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Peridot Jewelry

The name "peridot" is Greek for "to give richness." Though adored by the ancient Egyptians and Romans, the peridot has long been under appreciated in the contemporary world. There was much disdain for the "pea green" color and some shades dredged up memories of 1970s shag carpeting. The peridot is seeing a resurgence in popularity, however, especially after the Kashmir mine was discovered in 1994. The golden green stones are once again popular and found in popular setting such as a peridot and diamond bracelet.

What is a Peridot?

Physically, peridot is an iron magnesium silicate. The level of iron in the stone is what determines the intensity and deepness of its color. The stones can range anywhere from having a gold-tinged hue to a brown-tinged hue. The shades are pale green, lime to olive green. The stones from Myanmar often contain rutiles that are tiny inclusions that give the stone a silky shine. It is also possible for the peridot to have a cat's eye or a star effect, but it is very rare and expensive if you can fine them. Of course, a fine quality Kashmir peridot and diamond ring can also be quite exquisite. If you see the name chrysolite, that is referring to a gold-green peridot. You may also hear it called a precious olivine after the type of mineral peridot is.

Where does Peridot come from?

The oldest mines can be found on an island in the Red Sea. This is where ancient Egyptians got their supply of peridot for their elaborate jewelry. Of course, this was thousands of years ago and the mines have long since been empty.

The island was plagued by poisonous snakes so an Egyptian ruler had them killed off, deserted his miners on the island and trespassers were killed on sight. This was how valuable these stones were to the Egyptians. In fact, they called it the "gem of the sun." Cleopatra wore some peridot, though she probably thought all of her jewels were emeralds.

In the 1990s, a huge deposit of quality peridot was found in Pakistan. These stones are known as Kashmir peridot which designates them as fine quality stones with beautiful green hues. As you admire your lush Kashmir green peridot and diamond ring , imagine the journey it took just to get to your finger. Over 13,000 feet up in very harsh conditions lay the Kashmir mines. Just imagine the trek to get the stones down the mountain. Because the winters in Pakistan can be very treacherous, the peridot could only be mined during the summer. So, appreciate that peridot and diamond bracelet or pendant you have. It took a lot to get it to you.

Myanmar has mines that produce a lighter shade. An interesting source of peridot is found in Arizona. The mine is actually on the San Carlos Apache Reservation and the only people allowed to mine there are the Apaches. Peridot has even come from outer space. The green-gold stones have been found in meteorites fallen to earth. Brazil, Hawaii, Australia and the African Congo have minimally producing mines as well.

August Birthstone

The peridot has long been under appreciated, but not so for those babies born in August. Peridot ring sales pick up this time of year because a ring is the most common birthstone gift.

If you weren't born in August, you can ask for a silky rich peridot and diamond bracelet for your 16th wedding anniversary.

How to Care for Your Peridot

Peridot ranks a 6.5 to 7 on the Mohs scale of hardness, which makes it suitable for use in jewelry, though care should be taken with it. It's also important to avoid ultrasonic cleaners when you need to shine up your peridot jewelry. Soaking your peridot in warm soapy water should be sufficient to clean it.

Lore and Legend of the Peridot

It is believed that peridot makes your dreams come true, as well as have calming and love inducing properties. If you have insomnia, you might want to wear your peridot and diamond ring to bed, since the stone is believed to facilitate sleep. And of course, there are very specific instructions on how to wear the peridot to keep the evil away. It involves piercing the stone, a donkey hair and only wearing it on the left arm. Maybe a peridot and diamond bracelet on the left wrist would work just the same. A peridot placed in a gold setting and worn to bed is said to ward off nightmares.