Feature Gems & Gemology, Spring 1981, Vol. 17, No. 1

Zabargad: The Ancient Peridot Island in The Red Sea

Reflecting on his 1980 visit to Zabargad, the author provides an update on this relatively unknown island and the beautiful peridots for which it has gained fame. He complements his discussion of the geology of Zabargad, the peridot occurrences, the mining techniques, and the characteristics of the gemstone with a look at the ancient history of the island and the etymological changes surrounding the stone's current name, peridot. Although somewhat low on the hardness scale, this magnificent gemstone has regained popular appreciation, and the crystals from Zabargad are still among the finest in the world.