August Birthstone: Peridot

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According to the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, more than 3,000 years ago, Egyptians fashioned beads from golden green crystals mined on an island in the Red Sea – they considered it the “gem of the sun.” Known to the Greeks and Romans as Topazios, this island off the coast of Egypt was one of the most important sources for fine peridot, the gem variety of the mineral forsterite. Originally called topazion, after the island, this gem was renamed peridot in the 18th century. The island is known today as Zabargad, the Arabic name for peridot. Other important sources of peridot include Burma, the United States (Arizona), Norway, Brazil, China, Australia, and Pakistan.

Peridot is said to host magical powers and healing properties to protect against nightmares and to bring the wearer power, influence, and a wonderful year.  As peridot is a gemstone that forms deep inside the Earth and brought to the surface by volcanoes, in Hawaii, peridot symbolizes the tears of Pele, the goddess of fire and volcanoes.

People ascribed various powers to this gem. To develope its full strength as a talisman, some wore peridot set in gold. Others strung it on donkey hair tied around the left arm to ward off evil spirits. Powdered peridot was prescribed for asthma. Held under the tongue, peridot was thought to lessen thirst in fever.

Peridot is a magnesium-iron silicate; pure forsterite is colorless, but iron atoms replacing some of the magnesium produce the green shades. Too much iron results in unattractive dark-colored stones with brown tones. Peridot is most prized when it is an intense dark green color without undertones of yellow or brown. Peridot, in smaller sizes, often is used in beaded necklaces and bracelets.

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Pade Valva Peridot Bee Charm Necklace | Oster Jewelers Blog
Janice Girardi 8 Green Stone Stacking Rings | Oster Jewelers Blog
Antartica Big Citrine and Peridot, Diamond Ring | Oster Jewelers Blog
Janice Girardi 10 Stacking Topaz, Amethyst & Peridot Rings | Oster Jewelers Blog

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