August Birthstone - Peridot
Though peridot is widely recognized for its brilliant lime green glow, the origin of this gemstone’s name is unclear. Most scholars agree that the word “peridot” is derived from the Arabic faridat, which means “gem;” however, some believe it’s rooted in the Greek word peridona, meaning “giving plenty.” Perhaps that’s why peridot was, according to lore, associated with prosperity and good fortune.
Where it can be found
Most of the world’s peridot supply comes from the San Carlos Reservation in Arizona. Other sources are China, Myanmar, Pakistan, and Africa.
- Peridot jewelry dates back as far as the second millennium BC. These ancient Egyptian gemstones came from deposits on a small volcanic island in the Red Sea called Topazios, now known as St. John’s Island or Zabargad.
- Ancient Egyptians called peridot the “gem of the sun,” believing it protected its wearer from terrors of the night. Some historians believe that Cleopatra’s famed emerald collection may have actually been peridot.
- Through medieval times, people continued to confuse these two green gemstones. The 200-carat gemstones adorning one of the shrines in Germany’s Cologne Cathedral were long believed to be emeralds as well, yet they are also peridots.
- This gemstone saw a revival in the 1990s, when new deposits were discovered in Pakistan. These deposits produced some of the finest peridots ever found. In fact, some of these “Kashmir peridots” measured more than 100 carats.
- The most productive peridot deposit in the world is located on the San Carlos Apache Indian Reservation in Arizona. An estimated 80 to 95 percent of the world’s peridot supply is found here.
- There is no synthetic or manmade version of peridot, but imitations do exist. These are usually made of glass or natural tourmaline.
Peridot is the rare gem-quality variety of the common mineral olivine, which forms deep inside the Earth’s mantle and is brought to the surface by volcanoes. In Hawaii, peridot once symbolized the tears of Pele, the volcano goddess of fire who controls the flow of lava. Rarely, peridot is also found inside meteorites.
Peridot’s signature green color comes from the composition of the mineral itself—rather than from trace impurities, as with many gemstones. That’s why this is one of few gemstones that only comes in one color, though shades may vary from yellowish-green to olive to brownish-green, depending on how much iron is present.
Famous Women with August Birthdays
August 7 - Charlize Theron - South African and American actress and film producer.
August 11 - Viola Davis - American producer and actress of stage, screen, and television.
August 15 - Jennifer Lawrence - American actress.
August 16 - Madonna - American singer, songwriter, actress, and businesswoman.
August 20 - Amy Adams - American actress and singer.
Popular August Birthstone
Raw Peridot Gemstone Necklace
Four Birthstones Cluster Necklace
Family Tree Birthstone Necklace
Raw Birthstone Necklace
Summer Birthstone Rings