The vibrant summery hue of peridot is a natural partner for August. One of few gemstones to come in one colour it varies in shade from zesty lime to rich olive green. Perhaps the yellow or brown pigmentation present in many varieties of this verdant gemstone hints at the changing season as summer draws to a close.
Widely believed to derive from the Arabic ‘faridat’ meaning ‘gem’, some scholars agree the word peridot is rooted in the Greek word ‘peridona’ which means ‘giving plenty’. This may explain why peridot is associated with prosperity and good fortune.
Found in the depths of the Earth’s mantle, early records suggest that peridot was first sourced from the Egyptian Island of Zabargad in the Red Sea. Today most of the world’s production of this lustrous gemstone comes from the San Carlos Apache Indian Reservation in Arizona.
On rare occasions the peridot gemstone has emanated from extraterrestrial sources. Meteorites containing peridot have fallen to Earth and sightings of the stone on Mars have made it the only gemstone known to form on another planet.Often mistaken for emerald, peridot has long been called the ‘evening emerald’ since it glows with luminous intensity under artificial light. Its hypnotic hues have enticed many an admirer and some historians claim that Queen Cleopatra’s famous collection of emerald jewels may have actually been peridot.
A symbol of health and protection, peridot has been used as a talisman to ward against evil spirits and to dispel negative emotions particularly in matters of love.