The lovely gem peridot
by Debjani Banerjee
From being blessed with success, peace, good luck, power, health, to aiding cupid’s work ,bringing love one’s way, calming nerves dispelling gloom and negativity , strengthening the eye, the quicker one dons a Peridot the better it seems to enhance one’s chances to get on in life.
All gem stones have a lovely story to tell, as man’s fascination with the crystalline baubles from nature’s bowels is endless. Nature continues her work of forming crystals even in the human stomach, the gall stones! But that is another matter!
The lovely gem Peridot, pronounced ‘pear -a-doe ‘has been adopted as the official stone for the month of August by the American association of jewelry. This stone is the birth stone for the sun sign Libra, though there are others which are considered birth stones for this sign as it overlaps with the sun sign Virgo. The contemporary, mystical, ancient, zodiac is the different categories for the selection. This gemstone is commonly held to make an ideal gift to commemorate the 16th wedding anniversary though why it cannot be gifted at any other time considering its potent powers is a mystery!
Peridot is a gemstone of the variety “olivine'” and measures 7 on moh’s scale of hardness. The benefits of wearing this jewel are legion. From being blessed with success, peace, good luck, power, health, to aiding cupid’s work ,bringing love one’s way, calming nerves dispelling gloom and negativity , strengthening the eye, the quicker one dons a Peridot the better it seems to enhance one’s chances to get on in life! No wonder Peridot was the beauteous Cleopatra’s favored gem she who exercised great power and charm power over her famous admirers! That’s also makes it the right sort of gift for a Valentine!
Peridot ranges from a light yellowish green to intense bright green to the fresh green of spring grass. This stone has a rich glow, a slightly greasy look to its velvety texture. The clearer the green the more valuable the stone, brownish flaws diminish its value somewhat. Know a Peridot from its lively lime green shade, unmarred with any browns and olives in its heart!
Peridot has been mined from the Red sea area for around 3500 years. With the ancient Egyptians, this was popular as a gem of the all powerful sun God Ra. It was probably the crusaders who brought back the stone to Europe from their forays into central Asia and the fabled Byzantium.
There are references to this stone in the Bible, the Jewish high priests wore this gem on their breast plate, and it was referred to as ‘pitdah’ in Hebrew. Whether the word ‘Peridot’ emerged from the Arabic ‘faridat’ is a controversy but the French first called it the Peridot meaning ‘unclear’ in French. The Greco Romans referred to it as Topazins, which name was changed to topaz to mean the golden yellow gem. In Latin it was called “Crysolite”, meaning the golden stone.
Folk lore has it that miners searched for this stone at night, the moonlight made it easier to see in the dark as it glowed with a strange iridescence; they returned at daybreak to hew the gems free of the rock! The best quality Peridot comes from Egypt and Myanmar or Burma. Recently Peridot of the finest quality has been discovered in Pakistan, in the Hindu Kush range; some stones even weighing up to 300 carats. Peridot is also found in Arizona, Norway, and Hawaii and around the Red sea. Some unusual Peridots are those of found in meteorites landing from outer space, these have iron, nickel traces and are called pallasites. These are faceted and set in jewelry. These stones have been confused with emeralds, though Peridot has a more yellow or olive color and are quite different a shade of green than emerald. They are also confused with apatite and green garnet.
Peridot jewelry takes the form of loose or free form cabochons to be strung from pendants or mounted on rings, some stones are faceted and set into customized jewelry. Care is something very minimal, as with all gems, protect from scratches, sharp blows, sudden changes in temperature and you are all set to cherish your precious investment in the lively gem!