Jewel of the month: Peridot
Like the budding foliage of a forest floor, peridot’s radiant shades of green are believed to calm the mind and promote health and peacefulness. Associated with the sun, peridot has been prized since the earliest civilizations for its powers to drive away dark forces and manifest prosperity. It is the birthstone for August and often worn as a talisman for good fortune, abundance, and emotional well-being.
Formed in magma from the earth’s mantle and brought to the surface through volcanic ash, peridot was discovered in 1500 BC on an Egyptian island called Zabargad. As a result of its volcanic activity and unique mineral forming conditions, this Red Sea island possessed plentiful peridot deposits and was home to the world’s largest peridot stone ever found – a remarkable 311 carats!
Today’s peridot is mined in many locations, including China, Vietnam, South Africa, and the US. The most precious peridot the world has ever seen comes from the rugged mountain ranges of Pakistan at elevations above 13,000 feet. This rough terrain produces stones with an unmistakable green grass shade, incomparable transparency, and nearly flawless clarity.
The intensity of peridot’s color depends on its iron content, with the lighter pistachio tones quite reasonably priced and the vivid neon green shades more expensive. Arizona peridot tends toward yellowish-green and olive shades and is among the most affordable. These US deposits are situated on the San Carlos Apache Indian Reservation and are responsible for producing 85 percent of the world’s peridot supply.
While most peridot originates from magma 50 miles deep in the Earth’s mantle, some peridot specimens actually come from outer space! In fact, green peridot crystals cover over 19,000 square miles of Mars and has been found in comet dust brought back from the 2005 Stardust Robotic Space Probe. Peridot has even been found embedded within meteorites, four-billion-year-old remnants from our solar system’s birth!
Affordable and versatile, peridot compliments all skin tones and pairs well with any metal. It is a beautiful statement on its own and lends itself to trendy multi-colored ring stacks or tennis bracelet pairings. Stop by the Carats Fine Jewelry & Watches showroom to browse our curated selection of peridot pieces – we have just the piece to suit any style and budget!