Peridot Facts and Buying Guide
by Sheweta Dhanuka
It is the birthstone for those born in the month of August and anniversary gemstone for the 16th year of marriage. Due to its close resemblance to the precious stone ‘ Emerald’, it is quite a sought-after semi precious gemstone.
Peridot, an Olivine mineral variety is rich in magnesium and iron. The name is derived from a French word ‘peritot’ meaning unclear, maybe due to the inclusions present in stone. It is also named from the Arabic word ‘faridat’ meaning gem. Few jewelers refer this gem as Chrysolite, Olivine and Evening Emerald too.
It is the birthstone for those born in the month of August and anniversary gemstone for the 16th year of marriage. Due to its close resemblance to the precious stone ‘ Emerald’, it is quite a sought-after semi precious gemstone. Also its incredible colour and transparency makes it most desired gem in every corner of the globe. To make the purchase of genuine Peridot, buyers ought to have some awareness about it. Therefore, this article aims to endow with the crucial facts and act as a buying guide. All the general gemstone characteristics are covered in order to help the buyer make the right purchase.
Colour is a unique characteristic of this stone. It is one amongst the small number of gemstones that subsist in single colour. The basic colour is light green with the slender touch of golden/yellow in it. Variation in green is dependent on amount of iron present in the chemical composition. It is the coloring agent for this fine-looking gemstone; more the iron content deeper is the green colour. The best-colored Peridot would have it between 2-14%.
While buying the stone one should always look for the intense and even distribution of colour all over the stone. Genuine stone would appear same in colour in dark as well as dim light. Also, brightness of the gem must be similar from front and back too. Authentic stones emanate rich shinny blaze when the ray of light passes through it.
This fabulous gem is little tough to handle during the initial stages. The rough crystals are difficult to process and call for precision of gemstone cutters while cutting else might break into pieces. It is cut as per the crystal structure. Stones bigger in size are cut into exclusive specimen stones while the smaller ones are shaped as calibrated gemstones. All the classical shapes are given viz. round, oval, pear, emerald, marquise and many more. Cabochons shape is preferred when flaws are more in the crystal.
Clarity of the crystal is on the average side. Few flaws are always present which are removed while cutting. On the whole the disconcerting inclusions are removed while few fine silky inclusions are left as it is. Stones with full transparency can be seen but are quite rare.
It is the main determinant of the worth of the stone in economic terms. More the carat weight more is the cost. Usually, smaller cut stones that are set in jewelry items are between 1-4 ctw. Gems more than 4 carat is quite expensive. Carat weight between 10-15 is rare and priced most. Deposits at Egypt and Myanmar are acknowledged for 20-40 carat cut stones (occurrence is very rare and kept only in museums).
Price is ascertained on the basis of colour, clarity, carat weight and location. Intense green colour distributed evenly fetches high price. With the increase in clarity/transparency and carat weight the value also increases. Gemstones acquired from Zagbargad (Zebirget), island in the Red Sea off the coast of Egypt and Mogok in Myanmar are finest quality and rare thus, priced most. Arizona State of USA produces maximum quantity making it quite an affordable gemstone. Although it falls under the category of affordable stone for the common man but a deep green stone with negligible flaws and large in size, acquired from the countries offering excellent quality would demand a bulging pocket.
Exceptional quality gems are procured from Egypt and Myanmar. In ancient times Zagbargad (Zebirget) Island in Egypt was the main source and was mined for centuries. United States of America produce middling quality but abundance quantity. Other countries proffering average quality stones are Afghanistan, Hawaii, China, Tanzania, Ethiopia and Australia. Minas Gerais at Brazil, Kohistan in Pakistan, Eifel at Germany and Chihuahua at Mexico are also good source of this stunning stone.
It comes into existence during the volcanic eruption in best form. Mother nature has created it perfectly thus, seldom man made treatments with oil, wax or resin are required to further enhance its beauty. Natural appearance in itself is enthralling.
The green gemstones confused with this startling stone include green tourmaline and green sinhalite (both exhibit pleochroic phenomena strongly), moldavites and green garnets (have no double refraction), apatite (that is a lot softer) and green zircon (much heavier). None of the imitations possess the elite yellow factor to its green colour.
It being a jewelry stone is ideal for the daily wear. Also, not much care is required. With innovative designs it makes amazing ornaments. It is thought-out idyllic for the summer wear jewelry due to its light colour and admirable transparency. For accent stones and jewelry pieces faceted stones are used. The tumbled gems are best suited for baroque jewelry, beads and mosaics.
Sterling silver, 14K or 18K white gold, 14K or 18K yellow gold and platinum are used for making the jewelry holding this marvelous stone. It goes very well with yellow gold and then its effect is further appreciated. Rings, pendants, earrings and necklaces can have either the single stone or many stones of varied sizes depending on the design. When total carat weight of all the stones put up together falls between 2-4 ctw then it is priced moderately. For the jewelries where carat weight exceeds 4 ctw, it becomes little expensive. In many designs it is paired with other precious and semi precious gemstones. In Navarathna ornaments in place of emerald, Peridot can be used and the wearer would get similar advantages.
It is between 6.5-7 Mohs on the hardness scale. As per the hardness scale it is quite easy to care for but certainly demands the common gemstone precautions. Has to be protected from sharp blows & scratches and harsh chemicals present in cleaning agents & cosmetics. Must be kept away from sudden large temperature changes and excessive heat else it would fade the colour of the stone.
For cleaning the gemstone or jewelry, mild soapy water and soft bristle brush must be used instead of home ultrasonic cleaner. Then after, it should be wiped off fully with a soft cloth. Cleaning must be done only once in a couple of years and not on a regular basis. It should be stored in the box lined with cotton/velvet/soft cloth.
Since ancient times this astounding stone is cherished a lot. Romans, Greeks and Egyptians had special thoughtfulness for it. It was also believed to chase off the evil spirits. Pirates used it extensively.
Today, astrologers associate it with success, peace and fortuity. It is said to increase the expressiveness and confidence of the wearer. Person experiencing fear or bad dreams is recommended to wear this gem in gold. With regular wearing it is held to wave off the odd traits like ego, jealousy etc. and bring positive energy and vibrations. In case of medical treatments, it is used for curing asthma, heart problems, lung diseases and sinus. It also helps in proper functioning of liver and adrenal system.
Queen of beauty, Cleopatra used to take pleasure in wearing Peridot jewelry. Many of her jewelry pieces had this gem instead of emerald. Besides, it was amongst her favorite gems. It is alleged to possess power and properties similar to emerald. Experience the persona of emerald by paying half of its real worth through Peridot. It certainly is a good haggle. Worth trying !!!