Peridot – August Birthstone
The month of August has a unique gemstone dedicated to it: the gemstone Peridot. Peridot is the August birthstone – considered to be lucky for people born in the month of August. This gem is one of the only stones that come in a lime green colour that is so visually pleasing. With its hints of yellow that shine through, Peridot is truly a star gem. Peridot is gem quality beautiful Olivine which would otherwise be too dark or included for jewellery.Derived from the Greek word “Peridona” which decodes to a “kind of richness”, Peridot was used in the jewellery from the time of the early Egyptians. Known in India as पेरीडोट, this stone is Leo’s gemstone, which is the sign of the Lion.
Perfectly describing the rich hues of the gem, Peridot is also known to be the “Emerald of the Evening” as coined by the ancient Romans because of its constant colour in different lighting conditions. Green stones are recognised world over to up your luck and prosperity and can also bring money into your life. That should be enough reason why you should be wearing a green coloured natural gemstone.
Above is an image of the various colour ranges that Peridot is found in. It ranges from a golden green to a brownish green body colour. Peridot is chemically made up of magnesium, iron, silicon and oxygen which mingle in perfect harmony and absorb most of the warm colours from the visible spectrum leaving behind what you see as the yellowish green colours distinctive of the gem. Its characteristic colour is brought about by the element Iron, which is present in its chemical composition. Known to the Egyptians as the “Gems from the sun”, Peridot can still demand high prices in good strong colours.
This gem is brought to the earth’s surface as volcanic eruptions bring Peridot up through the fire hot magma. Peridot forms as small nodule crystals in magma pockets deep under the earth’s crust. This is the main reason why Peridot is generally found in volcanic areas like Brazil, Mexico, Australia and Hawaii, where the gem is also considered to be the tears of the goddess of fire and volcanoes : Goddess Pele.
Strange as it may sound Peridot has also been found in meteorites and has been found on planet Mars. That’s right Peridot is an extra-terrestrial gemstone! Identified on the surface of Mars by NASA’s global surveyor, this gem has earned an international reputation for its rarity.
The image below is from the Esquel pallasite meteorite that fell in Argentina. As you can see, the green portions are olivine crystals with smaller inlays of Peridot in an iron matrix from outer space.
At KuberBox we interact with gemmologists all the time and they are constantly telling us about the wonderful world of gemstones. Stones with inclusions that cannot be replicated anywhere. This is what has built our interest in stones and inclusions and through this blog we will take you inside the Peridot.
Peridot is a double refractive stone with an RI at 1.65 to 1.69, which means it takes a single ray of light and breaks it into two rays. This gives the visual effect of doubling of facet junctions and inclusions or anything within the gem, which under magnification can be seen quite clearly. When doubling is seen, it instantly excludes Peridot simulants like glass and plastic, which are singly refractive in nature.
Did you know within this golden green gem are inclusions that resemble lily pads similar to that of the water lily. These lily pad inclusions are characteristic of the Peridot and cannot be seen in any other gemstone. They form as liquid inclusions get pressed within, during growth. As we have already mentioned, the stone shows doubling and these inclusions also appear in doubles because of the high refractive index.
Another typical Peridot inclusion is the chromite crystals. These black crystals stand out within the gem and can bring the value of the stone down considerably when in an obvious location. These black chromite crystals are generally regular cubes and tend to have stress cracks around it, which are called tension halos. These halos are caused because of the stress during growth.
The stone’s hardness has been ranked at 6.5 on the Moh’s Scale and is a hence a relatively soft stone, which can be scratched easily. This means when used in jewellery Peridot must either be set in a closed setting style that is not prone to damage or must be buffered by other stones/ gold to protect it. Diamonds being the hardest gem can easily scratch Peridot, which is why jewellers should be weary about setting styles and patterns. Peridot when in jewellery that needs resizing or repair could become an issue, as the gem is sensitive to heat from a jeweller’s torch. The heat may cause liquid inclusions to expand which could change the physical appearance of the stone entirely.
During Cleopatra’s time, her famous Emerald collection is thought to actually be Peridot, which was easily confused in those times without advanced gemmological identification. Another famous Peridot that was mistaken to be Emerald is the large Peridot on the shrine of the Three Holy Kings in the cathedral at Cologne.
Peridot is a beautiful yet timeless gemstone and should be part of your jewellery collection. The gems colour is complemented perfectly by the warm golden hues of the gold and the cool colours of silver or white gold. Look out for our new collection, which will incorporate Peridot as a primary gemstone in our irreplaceable designs.
ReferencesPeridot - August Birthstone by Chantelle