A Gem Born of Fire... Often called the “volcanic gem,” peridot usually forms in the rocks created by violent volcanic activity. On rare occasions, peridot also has been found in meteorites that have fallen to earth. No matter the source, whether from Mother Nature’s fiery depths or rocks that are truly out of this world, peridot has caught the attention of humans for thousands of years. Ranging from a light yellowish green to darker, richer shades of olive, peridot conjures images of young spring grass or the greens of a rich, dark forest at twilight.
Peridot has a history dating back well over 3,500 years. It was first mined on the Isle of Serpents in the Red Sea. Later renamed St. John’s Island, this historically important source of peridot supplied gems to the royal rulers of ancient Egypt, including Cleopatra. In recent years the popularity of peridot has steadily increased. This can be attributed to its availability, affordability and the growing use of shades of chartreuse by some of the world’s leading fashion designers.
Peridot is the birthstone for August.
Peridot in limited quantities has been found in many volcanic regions all over the world, including parts of Italy and the Hawaiian Islands. Some of the world’s finest quality peridots are mined in Myanmar. The world’s most prolific source of peridot is the San Carlos Native American Reservation in Arizona. Other sources include China, Brazil and Pakistan.
There are no treatments commonly used to enhance peridot.
Peridot does not react well to heat. Avoid sudden temperature changes. Peridot should never be cleaned with a steam cleaner or an ultrasonic cleaning machine. Peridot can be cleaned with most any commercial jewelry cleaner or plain soap and water using a soft brush. Be sure to rinse and dry your jewelry thoroughly after cleaning.
Photo: Robert Weldon, Copyright Professional Jeweler Magazine
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