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Peridot - August's Birthstone

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Peridot - August's Birthstone

Peridot – History, Buying and Caring for Peridot 

Peridot is a beautiful yellow-green translucent gemstone in its gem quality state. Like diamonds, peridot is formed in extreme heat and pressure deep in the earth and is thrust to the surface from volcanoes and earthquakes. It is only peridot and diamonds that are formed this way and that is what makes them so special.

Peridot has cycled in and out of popularity over the centuries and is currently in favor. It is the birthstone for August and is relatively inexpensive but in recent years the cost for gem quality peridot has risen. Peridot has been found in meteorites that have fallen to the earth and was brought back to earth from the Stardust robotic space probe in 2006, and has been discovered on the moon, as well as detected by instruments on Mars by NASA. (

Peridot is hard enough to wear in rings which can take bumps and knocks more than other jewelry and registers between 6.5 and 7 on the MOHS Hardness Scale. It comes in shades of olive-green and is one of only a few colored gemstones that comes in one color only.


Peridot is one of the world’s oldest known gemstones and appears in recorded history as early as 1500 B.C. It appears in Egyptian history and some people believe that some of Cleopatra’s famous emeralds were actually peridot.

The main source for peridot in ancient times was on what is now called St. John’s Island and it has been mined there for over  3,500 years. The island’s proximity to Egypt is probably why the ancient Egyptians prized it so much, besides is beauty. Nowadays, peridot is mined in Burma (Myanmar) Pakistan, China, Vietnam and Arizona and New Mexico in the U.S.A.

Care and Cleaning of Peridot

Peridot does not react well to heat so DO NOT USE steam cleaners or ultrasonic cleaners which are very common ways to clean gemstones. You can use any commercial gemstone cleaners or just plain soap and water with a soft brush. Rinse in clear water and dry with the soft cloth.

Identifying Real Peridot

It is a brilliant olive-green color and can sometimes have a yellow or a brown tint but if a jeweler (or if you’d describe its color otherwise) describes the color of a gemstone as anything else than brilliant olive-green, it is probably a fake.

Real peridot always has inclusions and is not perfectly clear. There is a mist in the gemstone that is easily visible with a magnifying glass. If it is too clear, it is either glass or a Cubic Zirconia man made stone. So far, peridot has not been lab created.

Many gemstones will change shades or even change color when taken from artificial light into sunlight and peridot does not. If it changes, it is a clear sign that it is fake. Additionally, peridot is never heat treated and comes in its natural color without any treatment to alter or enhance its color.

The Meaning of Peridot

Peridot is associated with the sun and can attune one and regulate cycles whether they are emotional, physical, mental or intellectual. It can help relieve and transform negativity and release old vibrations that are keeping one stuck.

Its transformation powers can help to overcome addictions of all kinds and enhances Reiki when used in conjunction for healing. It helps heal the endocrine and the digestive systems. It can be used in meditation and to open and align the heart chakra and activates the throat chakra.

When worn with gold, peridot was believed to protect one from evil and to protect and purify the aura. Thus, it is a stone of protection, calming anger, lessening emotional pain, guilt and obsessions. It is a  stone of compassion, associated with the heart. It signifies renewal, lessening of guilt, possessiveness, and emotional pain. It is associated with rebirth and works to slow aging. 



Written by Sandra Jeffs

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