Peridot is the gemstone of August. It has been mined in Egypt for thousands of years and was introduced to Central Europe by the crusaders in the Middle Ages. It was said to be Cleopatra’s favourite gemstone and known as the ‘gem of the soul’.
The olive-green to bottle-green colour of peridot is caused by the presence of iron in the mineral – the more iron results in a deeper green colour. In the past, the deep green coloured peridots have been confused with emeralds. Peridot has a hardness reading of 6.5 to 7 and is a suitable gemstone for regular use.
Ancient Egyptians called peridot ‘the gem of the sun’ which possessed healing powers and protection against nightmares and evil thus ensuring peace and happiness. It is also called ‘the gem of Mars’ as it was found on Mars by NASA in 2003. To date it is the only gemstone to be found on another planet.
Peridot is seeing a surge in popularity with major jewellery designers such as Faberge, Bulgari and Chanel using this gorgeous green gemstone in their ranges. And of course, it even fits with the Pantone colour for 2017, ‘Greenery’.