Peridot Description


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While the 64.57-carat cut peridot is magnificent, it is overshadowed by the amazing
7.9-cm tall crystal. Both are from Sappat, Kohistan, Pakistan. - Jeffrey Scovil
Gem miners find peridot as irregular nodules (rounded rocks with peridot crystals inside) in some lava flows in the United States, China and Vietnam and, very rarely, as large crystals lining veins or pockets in certain types of solidified molten rock. Sources for the latter include Finland, Pakistan, Myanmar and the island of Zabargad.

Suite of peridot jewellery
This incredible suite of peridot jewellery has a total weight of 350.40 carats. All are top-quality peridots from Pakistan. - © GIA & Harold & Erica Van Pelt
Geologists believe both types of deposits relate to the spreading of the sea floor that occurs when the earth’s crust splits and rocks from its mantle are pushed up to the surface. Sometimes—as in Myanmar— these rocks can be altered, deformed and incorporated into mountain ranges by later earth movements.

Rarely, peridot can have an extraterrestrial source, being contained in meteorites that have fallen to earth.

The colour range for peridot is narrow, from a brown-green colour to yellowish green to pure green. Yellowish green is the most common peridot colour seen in jewellery.

Princess cut peridot
Peridot is best known for its yellowish green colour.
Peridot is the gem variety of the mineral olivine. Its chemical composition includes iron and magnesium, and iron is the cause of its attractive yellowish green colours. The gem often occurs in volcanic rocks called basalts, which are rich in these two elements.

Healing sisters
These peridots from Peridot Mesa in the San Carlos Apache Nation, Arizona, are set in a jewellery style called "Healing Sisters”. - Courtesy Apache Gems