The word ‘Peridot’ originated from an Arabic term ‘faridat,’ which means ‘gem.’ In mineral form this stone is known as Olivine and appears in velvety, varying shades of olive green to brownish green, depending on the place of its origin. Egyptians used to call this stone ‘the gem of the sun’ because of the stimulating color it generates when placed in the sun.
Peridot is the traditional birthstone of August and the zodiac birthstone of people born under the sign of Leo, Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, and Scorpio. It is generally associated with the qualities of dignity, fame, success and protection.
Formation and Occurrence
The formation process of this gemstone can take years and this is why these stones exist in small quantities. Crystallization of the mineral Olivine, which involves the rock undergoing high temperature and pressure for long time periods, results in the form of Peridot. This entire process require high melting point and this is why it takes place in the earth’s mantle, volcanic rocks and basalt rocks.
According to the U.S. Geological Survey, this stone is commercially mined in New Mexico and Arizona. Other significant places of its occurrence include Ratnapura District (Sri Lanka), Kaghan Valley (Pakistan), Vanylven (Norway), Naryn Oblast (Kyrgyzstan), Queensland (Australia), Megado (Ethiopia), Red Sea (Egypt), Jilin Prefecture (China) and Mogok Township (Burma, Myanmar).
History and Myths
Ancient Egyptians were famous for using this gem in jewelry as well as for healing purposes. Back in 1500 B.C. large deposits of Peridot were found in the Red Sea. One of its islands (Zebirget) was filled with poisonous snakes and the ruler at that time eradicated those pests so that its production wouldn’t come to a halt.
The residents of that island were forced to mine those stones, after which they were delivered to the royal gem cutters for cutting and polishing. Their rarity made them extremely valuable for monarchs. Egyptians were convinced that this stone had the power to protect its wearer from evil spirits. It is rumored that some of Cleopatra’s green Emeralds were actually Peridots.
Mining of Peridots from the Zebirget (St. Johns) island continued till the 20th century and its production came to a halt right before the Second World War. After the war ended, several stone dealers brought Peridot back into the gemstone market but this huge gap in time period didn’t affect its worth. In fact, it became far more valuable.
During the crusades, various glowing, dazzling Peridot stones were brought from the Mediterranean to Europe and presented as Emeralds to the Christian church, and are still present there. In the Bible these stones have been referred as ‘chrysolite.’ One of the historically famous Peridots exists in the Diamond Treasury in Moscow which belonged to the Russian czars. It is a flawless Peridot of stunning yellow- green color weighing 192.75 carats.
The ancient Hawaiians believed that this gemstone was formed due to hardening of goddess Pele’s tears, who was connected with volcanoes, fire and lightening. Various Hawaiian folklores portray her as the goddess of destruction as well but since Hawaiian Islands were formed as a result of volcano explosions, she was “generous” with the people of this land and presented them with Peridot stones.
Mystical and Healing Properties
Peridot is considered the stone of light that can ward away negativity and bring hope and optimism. This is why it is used for treating psychological problems. People suffering from depression should wear this stone regularly to detoxify negative emotions and attain comfort.
In addition to optimism, this stone helps its wearer in achieving emotional balance. The energy of the stone, obtained from undergoing various lunar cycles, can help people suffering from bipolar disorder and injured egos. Romans used to wear this stone, in the form of rings to calm the nervous system and achieve peaceful sleep.
The yellow- green color of Peridot is believed to cure liver and stomach problems. Their detoxification property facilitates the healing process of the bladder, kidneys and gallbladder and is extremely helpful in curing ulcers. Besides treating internal problems, this stone has a tonic effect and helps in regeneration of tissues, and this is the reason why it is helpful in healing insect bites. It is also believed that it can reduce the pain experienced during child birth if it is placed on the mother’s abdomen.
Some people believe that placing this power stone with Citrine in the money box will bring good luck in the financial sector.
Chakra Healing System
Peridot is the stone of heart chakra, the fourth chakra of the cycle. It is associated with lower lung, heart and the circulatory system. A balanced heart chakra will help you achieve growth, expansion and freedom, and the energy of this precious stone can help you achieve that balanced state. The balanced emotional state will further help you achieve spiritual growth by synchronizing the heart chakra with the higher frequency of the Universal Energy Field. It is believed that this stone creates a shield around its wearer and protects them against stress and anger.
Peridot is considered the first, second and eighth step stone.
The first step is associated with detoxification. If presented to a person in their first year of detoxification, this stone can release and neutralize toxins in the body.
The second step refers to spiritual awakening. People who have trouble in connecting with the higher physical entity can benefit from the metaphysical properties of this stone. Moreover, this is also the ideal gemstone for people who are socially awkward or have difficulty in relating to the ‘real’ world.
The eighth step relates to negative feelings of jealousy, anger, bitterness, resentment etc. These emotional problems often cause problems in relationships and the energy of this stone can help its wearer in regulating these emotions, which in turn helps in strengthening relationships as well. In addition, it can help you in achieving emotional clarity, the absence of which can cloud our judgment and compromise rationality.
Testing Peridots For Authenticity
Several minerals and gemstones are green in color but in spite of that you will have no difficulty in distinguishing Peridot among them because this stunning stone has several unique characteristics. When viewed under a microscope, it reveals grouping of great doubling of the back facets. Moreover, it has low specific gravity due to which this stone will sink slowly if placed in heavy liquid. Two extremely rare gemstones that are often mistaken for Peridot are Sinhalite and Diopside. They can only be distinguished from Peridot on the basis of composition.
Getting the Right Stone!
If you are purchasing this stone for adornment purposes then you need to be very careful because a stone that has intrusions can ruin the outlook of your jewelry. However, it is extremely hard to find perfectly flawless Peridots as they are not commonly available and can cost a fortune. Extremely large stones, which cannot be incorporated in jewelry, are comparatively less expensive than the smaller ones.
One more thing that affects the cost and value of these stones is their color. Pure green colored Peridots are considered valuable and have high prices. Maintenance of Peridots requires regular polishing. A used, ill-maintained stone will reveal its story through the appearance and will certainly cost less. The cost of re-polishing is dependent on the worth of the stone.