Peridot Quality Factors
Peridot’s colour ranges from pure green to yellowish green to greenish yellow. The finest hue is green without any hint of yellow or brown. The gem’s colours tend to be at their finest in stones weighing 10 carats and above. Lower-quality peridot is brownish.
Pure green stones are rare, and most peridots are more yellowish green. The higher-quality stones have an intense colour. Most of the stones with the finest colour come from Myanmar and Pakistan.
Most of the better-quality, calibrated material and larger single pieces on the market have no eye-visible inclusions, with tiny black spots—actually minute mineral crystals—visible under magnification. Other inclusions common in peridot are reflective, disk-shaped inclusions called “lily pads.”
Readily visible inclusions, especially the dark spots, lower the value of peridot. There’s a dramatic drop in the value of light-coloured material with prominent dark inclusions.
Peridot is cut in a wide variety of shapes and cutting styles. Production includes all the standard gem shapes such as round, oval, pear, cushion, triangle and marquise shapes.
Cutting styles are also well represented. Brilliant cuts with triangular and kite-shaped facets, step cuts with concentric rows of parallel facets and mixed cuts usually consisting of brilliant-cut crowns and step-cut pavilions are all common. Designer cuts fashioned by hand and machine are popular, as well as cabochons, beads and carvings.
Standard peridot cuts for the jewellery industry include a wide range of shapes and sizes. The gem is inexpensive in smaller sizes, but prices rise for gems above 10×8 mm. The finest large peridots come from Myanmar— formerly Burma—and, more recently, from a source high in the Himalayas of Pakistan. More standard sizes and qualities come mostly from the United States (Arizona) and China.