AUGUST'S BIRTHSTONE, PERIDOT IS A SHIMMERING, LIME GREEN STONE. BORN OF MOLTEN ROCK, AND USED FOR HEALING PROPERTIES OVER THE CENTURIES, THIS BRIGHT SUNNY GEMSTONE IS THE PERFECT STONE FOR AUGUST BIRTHDAYS. LEARN MORE ABOUT THE SCIENCE, HISTORY AND LORE OF THIS SPECIAL GEM BELOW.
Peridot gems are the rare varieties of the mineral olivine, composed of chemicals including iron and magnesium, and are one of the only gems that come in only one color. While peridot only comes in a lime green color, the tone and intensity of this color can vary between individual gems. The green color of the birthstone comes from the composition of the mineral itself — rather than from trace impurities, as with many gems. That’s why this is one of few stones that only comes in one color, though shades may vary from yellowish-green to brownish-green, depending on how much iron is present. (American Gem Society). Ranking at a 6.5-7 on the Moh’s scale of hardness, peridot is a relatively soft gemstone, comparable to opals. Peridot has been found in lava flows in the United States, China, and Vietnam, as well as in a larger crystalline form inside specific types of formerly molten rock in regions including Finland, Pakistan, Myanmar, and the island of Zabargad.
Peridot jewelry dates back as far as the second millennium BCE, and the word “peridot” itself comes from the Arabic word for “gem,” or “faradat.”. These ancient Egyptian gems 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. Egyptian priests believed that it harnessed the power of nature, and used goblets encrusted with the precious gem to commune with their nature gods (American Gem Society).
In the more tropical landscape of Hawaii, peridot symbolizes the tears of Pele, the volcano goddess of fire who controls the flow of lava. Peridot is also known as “the Evening Emerald” because its sparkling green hue looks brilliant any time of day.
Called “the extreme gem” by the Gemological Institute of America, Peridot is one of only two gems (Diamond is the other) formed not in the Earth’s crust, but the molten rock of the upper mantle and brought to the surface by the forces of earthquakes and volcanoes. While these Peridots are created by Earth, other crystals of Peridot have extraterrestrial origins, found in rare pallasite meteorites formed some 4.5 billion years ago. Peridot in its basic form, Olivine, was also found in comet dust brought back from the Stardust robotic space probe in 2006, has been discovered on the moon, and detected by instrument on Mars by NASA’s Global Surveyor. Ancients believed, quite accurately, that Peridot was ejected to Earth by a sun’s explosion and carries its healing power.
Peridot is said to possess healing properties that protect against nightmares and evil, ensuring peace and happiness. Thought to bring the wearer good luck, calm energy and success, peridot’s vibrant green color is naturally associated with the verdant and lush greens of the nature world. Babies born in August are lucky to be guarded by peridot’s good fortune!
We love seeing birthstones grow with our customers and their loved ones, and as the August baby showers approach, we are often asked what Peridot gifts we would suggest for little ones. What first comes to mind is the Baby Ring Birthstone Charm. The mini-ring it meant to be worn on a chain as a delicate charm, by mama and will be such a beloved piece when the baby is old enough to appreciate. If you are shopping for yourself or your girlfriends with August birthdays, we always love the simplicity of the Peridot Birthstone Bracelet, and versatility of the Peridot Birthstone Charm, which can be added to a new necklace or one you already wear.