Peridot is made of olivine, a silicate mineral, that has naturally reached gem quality. This gemstone has one very obvious claim to fame, based solely on its colour.
It is one of the few gemstones that can only be one distinct colour. The clear, light green colour of peridot is iconic for this reason, and it’s also why it’s very beloved in jewelry.
While all peridot gemstones do have the same colour, their tint and clarity varies just like most gemstones. What makes the difference among a nearly clear, cloudy peridot gem, and a stunningly bright peridot gem? Its iron content.
The amount of iron found within the gemstone itself changes the tint of peridot, which can make it look almost yellow or a much darker olive colour. Still, peridot is an olive green even in its most rare form; it’s much darker, but still has a yellow hue mixed in with the brown caused by iron.
Despite being a green gemstone, peridot gets its name from the French word for gold which is peritot. The gemstone was officially named this due to its tendency to have a gold hue, differentiating it from emeralds in appearance. However, the source of this name is actually debated. Some actually believe the name comes from the Arabic word for gemstone, faridat.
Peridot has a rather old recorded history, first appearing in writings during 1,500 BC. It was usually harvested in the Egyptian Red Sea and used as carved talismans, usually extracted by slaves and given to pharaohs as trophies.
This history is why it has been dubbed the National Gem of Egypt, though this mineral wealth has dried up.
Peridot is associated with life’s cycles — from your physical stages in life to your emotional phases. It’s a gemstone that is used to lift someone out of bad habits or to remove them from a rut.
Physically, peridot is used in overcoming addictions and the physical manifestations of issues like anxiety or guilt.
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