Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Peridot - The Green Gemstone

Ever find a bracelet, brooch, ring, or necklace with a pretty stone, that you just can't identify? If so, you aren't alone. I have a very limited knowledge of various gemstones, so I thought it would be fun to research a few and add them as posts to my blog over the next few months.

Peridot is a semi-precious gemstone that is usually found in hues of translucent greens. It is widely recognized as the August Birthstone, and as the gemstone for the 3rd and 16th anniversaries.

Peridot is one of the few gemstones that comes in basically one color - green. There are varying shades from yellow green through to brownish green. The most valuable color is a dark olive green.

The green gem is one of the oldest and the most popular gemstones. It was initially found and set into ancient Egyptian jewelry. The name Peridot is said to be derived from the Arabic word, faridat, meaning gem.

As with all gemstones, Peridot has some specific healing powers attributed to it. It is said to clear the heart chakra. It strengthens breathing, promotes prosperity, growth, and openness. It was used by Egyptians, Aztecs, and Incas to gently cleanse and heal the physical heart. Yellower gems also aid in problems of the stomach, liver and adrenal glands. Peridot helps wearers understand relationships, and other realities, alleviates depression, anger, fear, jealousy and anxiety.

Peridot is most commonly now found in the US, although there are also other locations around the world. It is known in Europe as Chrysolite. High quality peridot is mined in the lava fields of Saudi Arabia. Some common misnomers for it are Evening emerald, Night emerald and bastard emerald. The are incorrect, since it is not an emerald at all.

Be careful with ultrasonic cleaning of peridot. Never use steam. Uneven or rapid heat can cause fractures or even complete breakage to occur. It may be susceptible to wear from a person's perspiration which is quite acidic, although this is not common.

The largest cut peridot weighs 310 carats and was found in the island of Zabargad in Egypt. It is now on display in the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., keeping company with the Hope diamond.

I think it is such a pretty color. Don't you?

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