From fiery beginnings to glittery endings, the peridot gemstone has a history as rich as its iconic greens.
Join us for the next instalment of our ‘Meet the Gemstone’ series as we explore the spectacular greenish-yellow peridot — a stone that feels at home in the summer light.
Discover its geography, lore, and how to find and wear authentic peridot jewellery to celebrate special occasions or channel daily positive energy.
What is the peridot stone origin?
We can trace the vibrant green peridot back to ancient times, having been admired since the Pharaohs ruled Egypt. Many believed it was a favourite stone of Queen Cleopatra.
This luminous gemstone is formed deep inside the earth, born in the molten lava of the upper mantle, and brought to the surface by tectonic plate movements over billions of years.
Most modern peridot deposits are found in certain types of volcanic rocks at or near the earth’s crust. Major peridot mining sites are scattered across the globe, from Myanmar and Pakistan to China and Tanzania.
However, some of the highest quality peridot is mined in the San Carlos Apache Reservation in Arizona, U.S.A. The region produces small yet stunning peridot crystals that jewellers transform into glittering finished gems and designs.
Peridot stones form by bonding with basalt and other volcanic rocks. From there, it waits to be extracted and fashioned into jewellery that evokes the depths of the verdant earth. Some gems also came to the earth in meteorites, but these are extremely rare and unlikely to be seen on peridot jewellery.
From legendary healing powers to seeing off curses and enticing prosperity, peridot crystal is drenched in symbolism and meaning.
The peridot stone has long been associated with healing properties, especially the ability to mend a broken heart and release negative emotions like envy, resentment, doubt, or anger.
Ancient Egyptian and Hawaiian cultures used the green crystals in healing rituals and medicines. Today, healers use peridot to help treat stomach, heart, sinus, and liver issues.
In earlier times, the peridot was believed to offer protection against evil spirits and dark forces. Legend says setting the stone in gold intensified its protective powers and healing benefits.
Many still believe the peridot safeguards its wearer, warding off nightmares, curses, and hexes.
Wearing peridot is said to bring good luck, peace, and success. The friendly green hue also promotes fruitful friendship and helps connect married couples.
Peridot’s reputation for protection and fortune gave it the nickname “gem of the sun,” captivating the fire of prosperity and nourishment.
Peridot vs emerald
Although they share similar hues, peridot and emerald have distinct differences.
While peridot has a rich signature olive-green colour, emeralds are typically a cooler bluish green.
Peridots form deep inside the earth’s mantle and contain iron, giving them a striking yellow-green to brownish-green colouring. Emeralds originate near the surface and comprise a natural mineral compound of beryllium, silicon, and oxygen.
Historically, peridot has been confused with emerald — many jewellers falsely sold peridot under the emerald name.
This misrepresentation continued into the medieval and Renaissance periods when true emeralds were scarce yet highly desired by royalty. It’s now thought that many historical emerald collections were, in fact, peridots — Cleopatra’s famous ’emeralds’ are an example.
Today, jewellers can easily distinguish between peridot and emerald. This is crucial as, while still dazzling, peridots tend to fetch lower prices than premium emeralds due to their accessibility.
How hard is peridot?
Peridot is fairly soft compared to other precious gems, rating 6.5 to 7 on the Mohs hardness scale (diamond is the hardest at 10). However, it still provides good durability for jewellery.
The relative softness of peridot stone requires some basic care, especially during design and daily wear.
To avoid scratching and chipping, settings should protect the stone’s protruding edges — bezel settings work well.
Day to day, you should avoid exposing peridot jewellery to extreme temperatures and prevent contact with harsh household chemicals when cleaning.
What month is the peridot birthstone?
Peridot’s vivid tones conjure up the lush shades of late summer foliage and grass, making it the perfect primary birthstone for August.
Beyond August, creative designers sometimes use peridot as a secondary birthstone for April. Although untraditional, it pays homage to budding spring greens.
Whether you’re celebrating an August birthday or wedding anniversary, a peridot birthstone gift adds a fitting burst of summer warmth and light.
Types of peridot jewellery
The luminous green peridot stone makes a stunning centrepiece gem for all jewellery designs.
Peridot rings showcase the stone’s natural green hues. Solitaire peridot rings, highlighted by glittering diamonds or paired with lighter green emeralds, deliver eye-catching summer tones. You could also opt for a vintage-inspired peridot cocktail ring, oversized and ornate with filigreed bands.
For necklaces, peridot pendants hang beautifully from delicate chains, the vibrant stones seeming to float brightly on the skin. Alternating small and large peridot gems make modern statement necklaces full of varying green shades.
Light dances playfully across peridot earrings like mini forest canopies swaying from earlobes. From classic studs to dangling drops that invite a second glance, peridot adds warmth and vitality to any earring style.
Things to look for when buying peridot jewellery
When shopping for peridot jewellery, focus on pieces with excellent cut, clarity, colour, and carat (the four C’s) to maximise the vibrancy of the signature green shade.
The best peridots achieve brilliant radiance through careful facet placement that catches and scatters the light. Look for eye-clean clarity ratings for the best sparkle with minimal inclusions or blemishes. Larger three-to-five-carat peridots make impressive statement pieces.
High-carat gold or platinum settings pair best with peridots. Avoid lower-quality metal alloys like nickel or copper that could trigger sensitivities.
As a reputable seller, Robert Gatward Jewellers offers fine peridot sourced from ethical mines. Custom-designed peridot pieces enable you to personalise your item for an extra special touch.
For magnificent peridots and a professional and welcoming service, visit Robert Gatward Jewellers or contact us now.
Discover your perfect peridot gem today, glowing with rich honey tones like sunset-drenched fields backlit by the radiant August sun.