Peridot – The Gift From Mother Nature
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by: Brooke Danielle Eppert
Peridot, also known as the August birthstone, is one of the most unique creations given from Mother Nature. Tracing back to ancient times, the Peridot has a story of bringing magical powers and healing properties when presented as a gift. It is also known for encouraging positive energy when worn.
The first findings of peridot are thought to be from St. John’s Island in Egypt, located near the Red Sea. Today, Peridot is primarily mined in Arizona, but can additionally be found in China, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Ethiopia and other countries around the world. Unlike other gemstones, which are found on Earth’s surface, Peridot is found deep within the Earth’s crust. Peridot forms in igneous environments, in which the gemstone forms in magma and is brought to the earth’s surface by volcanic activity.
San Carlos Reservation
Today, the United States is the main supplier of Peridot. The Peridot found in the United States is typically lighter in color and smaller than other Peridot that can be found in Pakistan and China. However, the most affordable Peridot is primarily found in the San Carlos Reservation in Mesa, Arizona.
The San Carlos Reservation is the most abundant mining sight for Peridot, in which approximately 80%-95% of the world’s supply of Peridot comes from the San Carlos Reservation. The reservation typically mines Peridot ranging from 1-3 carats, and anything above 3 karats is considered rare for the reservation. One of the most famous Peridot gemstones that can be found in the Smithsonian Museum is a 34.65 karat gemstone that was mined at the San Carlos Reservation.
Peridot is an iron magnesium silicate in which the intensity of the color of green it contains varies based on the amount of iron within it. Peridot with an iron percentage of less than 15% typically holds a deep and intense green color, which is the most desirable and valuable. Overall, Peridot is extremely transparent, however, in larger gemstones, some cloudiness may appear due to some impurities.
1. Cleopatra was thought to have worn Peridot gemstones.
2. Peridot is one of the oldest gemstones, dating back to 1500 B.C. in ancient Egypt.
3. Known as the “Gem of the Sun.”
4. One of the few gemstones that exists in only one color with various shades of green.
5. Peridot is thought to ward off evil spirits, provide success in relationships and suppress jealousy.
6. Peridot gemstones over 10 karats are the most expensive.
Uses And Care
Peridot is primarily used for creating beautiful pieces of jewelry, such as rings, necklaces, earrings and brooches. The color is unisex, and makes for an everyday design. To care for a Peridot gemstone, it should be regularly cleaned using warm water and soap. It is important not to use ultrasonic cleaners or heat steamers when cleaning Peridot, as extreme climate or temperature changes can result in damage of the gemstone. Overall, Peridot is highly durable but is at higher risk for scratches and chips compared to other gemstones.