Periodot is a gem-quality variety of the mineral olivine – and is one of the few gems that only have one color. Peridot is olive green with a golden shine. Peridot belongs to the forsterite-fayalite mineral series. Peridot is a well-known and appreciated gemstone and dates back to the year 1500 BC in Egypt. The gem was found at small volcanic island in the Red Sea near Aswan. In Roman times peridot was extremely popular, since the green shine lasted, both day and night. Some sources called “The evening emerald”. Peridot is considered nearly sun-like for its shine.
The largest peridot is 310 carat and can be seen at the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, DC.
Peridot is found in many places - including in Egypt, New Mexico, Australia, Brazil, China, Kenya, Myanmar, Norway, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka and Tanzania - but rarely in jewelry qualit. Olivine, of which peridot is a species, is often found in lava, but peridot can also be found in meteorites. Olivine has been found on Mars and on the Moon. In the mid-1990s beautiful peridots were found in Pakistan, but mining the peridots is only possible during the summer, caused by the harsh and cold winters. These peridots are called "Kashmir peridotes" - like the beautiful Kashmir sapphires, emphasizing their high quality
The color intensity depends on the content of iron in the gemstone, so the color can vary from yellowish olive to brownish green. Peridot has a hardness of 6½-7 on Mohs' scale, which is considerably softer than many other gems, so care should be taken to prevent scratches, when used in jewelry. Peridot has a brittle tenacity.
Cleopatra loved the green gemstone, and many of her emeralds have later proved to be peridots. Many explorers made the same mistake and brought the peridot to Europe in the belief, that they were emeralds. The highly respected gemmologist, George Frederick Kunz, debated with the clerics about the difference between emerald and peridot, as these homemade “emeralds” were used in church decorations, including in cathedral in Cologne.
We offer peridots in various shapes and colors. If you have specific preferences for the gemstone's shape and hue, feel free to contact us anytime.