Article | Published on 31 July 2019
The peridot is the birthstone of the natives of August. Its name comes from the Arabic faridat, which means gem. Historically, the largest deposit was in the Red Sea, on the volcanic island of Zebirget (Egypt).
Cleopatra’s favorite stone, we know the Egyptians used it in the ornamentation of jewelery. We see it later, in the Middle Ages, in churches and on objects of worship. Peridot was the most appreciated stone of the Baroque era. It made a great comback around 1900 in Europe as well as in America (art nouveau period in France and Edwardian period in England).
After emerald and green garnet (tsavorite and demantoid), peridot is the most sought after green stone. It is rare because extracted from volcanic rock, but remains very affordable. Its color can vary from lime green to olive green. Olivine, its mineralogical name, can be tinged with brown, which diminishes its value. The most popular peridots (often from Pakistan and Burma) are larger in size and saturated in color less yellowish. Currently, Arizona (in the United States) is the largest producer.