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Your Guide to Peridot Gemstones

White enamel peridot stud earrings.

Peridot is the perfect summer stone. With a golden-green that captures the season’s bright beauty, this is the only gem to come in one color (though the intensities of the shade vary, so you can always personalize your peridot). Unique yet understated, peridot is perfect for gorgeous green jewelry.

What is Peridot?

Peridot is a gemstone. Its restful, soothing shade brings calm and harmony to the wearer. With a joyful green gleam, it’s said to create a friendly state of mind to improve health and relationships. Darker peridot gems have a rich, velvety shine, giving them a slicker, sleepier luster.

This gemstone commonly hails from the Himalayas, and there’s plenty to go around. Peridot’s accessibility makes it affordable, so if you’re looking for a glowing green gem, this stone is your budget-friendly option. The occasional brown undertones tend to make it even more inexpensive.

History of Peridot Gemstones

Once referred to as the “gem of the sun,” the ancient Egyptians that gave peridot this nickname believed the stone had healing powers (essentially a dreamcatcher protecting you from night terrors). Still believed to ward off negative energy, peridot is the modern day “good vibes only” gem. The warm, happy color inspires similar emotions, believed to invite all things bright and light.

In fact, ancient Romans called peridot the “evening emerald” because the green shines even brighter in the dark. Yes. You read that right: A glow-in-the-dark gem. It’s exactly as cool as it sounds.

The name “peridot” has many rumored origins. From the French word for gold (péridot) to the Arabic word for gem (faridat), to the Greek word meaning “give in abundance” (peridona), there’s no shortage of names for peridot’s life-giving green glow.

Peridot Meaning

With molten and extraterrestrial origins, peridot is called “the extreme gem” by the Gemological Institute of America. Its fiery birth grants vitality to the wearer. Its lively brightness channels all the August feels: open-hearted cheer, playful energy. With a twinkle in its eye, this gem is like your summer fling set in stone. Peridot is pure positivity.

Anger, jealousy, and loneliness are said to be left by the wayside when you wear this mood-boosting stone. So, if you need to repair a relationship or you’re holding back your heart, peridot can set you free. Any anxiety and bitterness fades away, replaced by love and renewal. This gives peridot special meaning as an August birthstone and the 16th wedding anniversary stone, making it a versatile mile-”stone.”

Peridot’s nourishing green glow encourages you to drop your emotional burdens, and with all that confident energy to move forward, you’re bound for success. This can manifest in a few different ways. The green bears likeness to money, so is said to bring prosperity to the wearer. And because all that growth, awareness, and open heartedness makes the wearer more receptive, peridot also inspires creativity and purpose. Essentially, peridot presents the opportunity to expand and channel good.

Peridot Gemstone Properties

Peridot is part of the Olivine mineral family, which is made up of magnesium iron silicate. This means that for being the extreme gem, peridot is not rugged. Whether your stone is volcanic or cosmic, you’ll want to take special care of your stone (more on that later).

Here’s what peridot looks like behind the scenes, or at least under the facets:

Peridot Gemstone Quality Factors

Black spotting may occur if your peridot stone contains mini minerals (or “mini”-rals, if you’re punny). It’s also common for peridots to contain “lily pads,” or reflective discs trapped within the gem. Any of these inclusions that sacrifice the peridot’s clarity also diminish its quality. Because as you might expect, a light-colored gem with visibly dark splotches isn’t as widely desirable. Iron muddies up the gem’s appearance. So, the more transparent the peridot, the more valuable it is. But if you’re someone who embraces life’s imperfections, you can purchase a peridot gem for less.


How to Take Care of Peridot Gemstones

As Virgo jewelry pieces, peridot stones are aligned with their zodiac sign in that they are finicky. Peridot is a sensitive stone when it comes to acidity (like sweat) and heat (including hot water). So, to get the most life out of your peridot stone, it should only be worn against the skin occasionally. Rinsing your peridot stone in mild water is enough to maintain this gem’s exterior. A soft brush or mild detergent are also safe cleansing options. Because peridot is prone to stress fractures, be mindful of settings that can put undue pressure on the stone. It’s also easy to scratch (even from dust), so store your stone away from other metals when it’s not worn and remove the jewelry when you’ll be doing chores.

Peridot Gemstone Facts

  1. Peridot is one of the oldest gemstones to be mined (as early as 1500 BC).
  2. Peridot is often substituted for emerald and was even confused for this stone in medieval times. So, no need to think of peridot as the poor man’s emerald. If it was good enough for royalty, it’s good enough for you and your loved ones.
  3. Because peridot is pushed to the surface by volcanic eruptions, Hawaiian folklore refers to the stone as the tears of Pele, the goddess of the volcano.

Peridot Gemstone FAQs

Is peridot rare?

No. Peridot is easily obtained. However, volcanic peridot (from lava and the Earth’s mantle) is much more common than stones that are formed by meteorites. But considering that most gems are formed in the Earth’s crust, peridot is still special. The only other gem that can claim foundation in the mantle is a diamond.

Where is peridot found?

Found in lava, meteorites, and the Earth’s mantle, it takes extreme conditions to form this gem. It makes sense that peridot symbolizes the dog days of summer, because this gem likes it hot. Essentially, you’re either wearing outer space or inner Earth. And what’s more romantic than jewelry made from passionate heat?

What color is peridot?

Peridot is always green. Ideally, a pure green. But those rare, finer gems are mostly found in Myanmar and Pakistan. Common peridot stones combine grassy green with sunny yellow, a happy coloring representing summer’s natural abundance.

Is peridot expensive?

Typically, no. The deep, richly saturated green gems that are highly prized are also highly priced, but these hard-to-come-by hues only appear in larger stones. Your solar system stones (the ones that come from meteorites) will also run more expensive. As you can imagine, these are not as common or easily mined, placing a premium on its rarity. As peridot gems get smaller, and yellow becomes more prominent, the stones become increasingly inexpensive. Quality dwindles further if brown tints are present in the peridot stones.

How hard is peridot?

Peridot ranges from about 6.5-7 on Moh’s hardness scale, resembling quartz in density. But because the stone’s resistance to damage may depend on its setting, aka how exposed it is. Peridot wouldn’t be described as durable, so while it is said to attract love, it might be too sensitive to abrasion to make a practical engagement ring.

Is peridot a birthstone?

Yes, peridot is an August birthstone.

Final Thoughts

Just like its blazing origins, peridot is sure to burn strong and bright like your love (even if it’s self-love). Unique in its singular color, it can represent that one-of-a-kind bond. Peridot also protects you from bad emotions and purifies the ones that find their way to you — so it’s a useful partner whether you’re alone or together (less jealousy and more money can benefit anyone).

To capture all that optimism, design and shop for your peridot jewelry on our site. At Brilliant Earth, you can shop all gemstones for ethical engagement rings, wedding rings, and all other fine jewelry.

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