Peridot is the birthstone for August, and the 16th wedding anniversary gemstone.
The Egyptians called it "the gem of the sun," as far back as 1500 BC.The Hawaiians believed they were the tears of the Goddess Pelè. The Romans believed that it drove away evil spirits, and made dreams come true.
We call it peridot.
Found in various shades of green (from the lighter, yellowish blends to the rich, deep grass-like hues), this igneous mineral can be found in a variety of sizes up to 5 carats. The more valuable examples will be the purest green; brown tones and eye-visible flaws can greatly reduce the cost per carat.
With cautious care, peridot will look fantastic for years, but it is nevertheless one of the more fragile gemstones (despite its 6.50 to 7.00 hardness on the Mohs scale).
Present-day peridot is found in Brazil, Burma, Australia, Kenya, Mexico, Sri Lanka - even Arizona. A new source of quality peridot was found amongst the Himalayan Mountains of Pakistan, providing the market with large, deep green crystals. Historical examples of peridot were most likely mined from the island of Zeberget (now St. John's Island), off Egypt's coast in the Red Sea.
The abundance of pale shades give peridot a bad rep compared to other gemstones, but the informed consumer knows that seeking out the deepest shades of green peridot will be worth the cost.