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Peridot

Found in lava, meteorites, and deep in the earth’s mantle, yellow-green peridot is the extreme gem

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Antique Cushion

This magnificent antique cushion-cut peridot weighs 20.25-cts.

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Double Refraction

Peridot’s strong double refraction causes double images of facets.

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Eye Clean

This peridot also has exceptional clarity.

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Myanmar Gem

This exceptional peridot crystal from Myanmar measures 4.3 cm tall.

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Yellowish-green Hue

This crystal has a medium-toned, highly saturated yellowish-green hue.

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Rare Crystal

Peridot crystals are rare; miners typically find irregular nodules.

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Overview

About Peridot

The ancient Egyptians mined peridot on the Red Sea island of Zabargad, the source for many large fine peridots in the world’s museums. The Egyptians called it the “gem of the sun.” Today this gem is still prized for its restful yellowish green hues and long history. Large strongly-colored, examples can be spectacular, and attractive smaller gems are available for jewelry at all price points.

Peridot Description Peridot History and Lore

Birthstones & Anniversaries

Peridot is the birthstone for August and the 15th anniversary gemstone.

4.5 billion

Some peridot is ancient: it's found in pallasite meteorites, remnants of our solar system's birth.


Stardust

In 2005, peridot was found in comet dust brought back from the
Stardust robotic space probe.


Olivine

Gem variety of the mineral olivine: found in peridotite rock from the
earth’s upper mantle.


Facts

  • Mineral: Olivine
  • Chemistry: (MgFe)2SiO4
  • Color: Yellowish green
  • Refractive index: 1.65 to 1.69
  • Birefringence: 0.035 to 0.038
  • Specific gravity: 3.34
  • Mohs Hardness: 6.5 to 7

Where It's Found

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Treatments

There are a number of processes used to alter the color, apparent clarity, or improve the durability of gems.

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Synthetics

Some gemstones have synthetic counterparts that have essentially the same chemical, physical, and optical properties, but are grown by man in a laboratory.

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Imitations

Any gem can be imitated—sometimes by manmade materials or by natural materials chosen by man to impersonate a particular gem.

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Why We Love This Gemstone

1
Extraterrestrial

Peridot crystals are found in meteorites: some rare extraterrestrial crystals are even big enough to facet as cut gemstones.

2
Iron Gem

Most gems are colored by impurities such as iron. Peridot's color is intrinsically yellow-green. Higher-quality stones have an intense color.

3
Seeing Double

Peridot has extremely high double refraction: when you look closely through the gem, you can see two of each pavilion facet.

Quality Factors

Beautiful, yellowish green peridot has been treasured since earliest times.

Color

quality factors

Although the best peridot is a pure grass green, most peridot is yellowish-green.

Clarity

quality factors

Most fine peridot is eye clean. Tiny black spots might be visible with magnification.

Cut

quality factors

Peridot is cut in a wide variety of styles, including ovals, emerald cuts, and cushions.

Carat Weight

quality factors

Large crystals of peridot have cut gems more than 50 carats in size.

Peridot Quality Factors: The Comprehensive Guide

Research

Explore sources, gemological research, and the role of gems in history.

San Carlos Peridot

John I. Koivula , Dec 1, 1981 Read Article

The Creation of a Magnificent Suite of Peridot Jewelry: From the Himalayas to Fifth Avenue

Robert E. Kane , Dec 1, 2004 Read Article

Identification of Extraterrestrial Peridot by Trace Elements

Andy H. Shen, John I. Koivula, and James E. Shigley Read Article

Zabargad: The Ancient Peridot Island in The Red Sea

Edward Gübelin , Mar 1, 1981 Read Article