Peridot:

"Evening emerald" is the name the Romans gave peridot (pronounced perri-dough). Light olive to deep bottle green, peridots were thought to bring happiness in marriage, eloquence and serenity. Crystals of peridot are found in rocks spewed from volcanoes. Hawaiians treasure peridot as the tears shed by the goddess Pélé, named for the island's still active volcano. Peridots come in a variety of faceted and rounded shapes. As an alternative to emeralds, peridots make striking rings and bracelets.

Do not clean in ultrasonic cleaners if it has visible inclusions.

The word peridot comes from the Arabic word meaning gem.

Peridot shares with the diamond the distinction of being born in cauldron of volcanoes, many found are over a billion years old. They are unique in the gem world.

Peridot is found in the United States, Norway, Red Sea, Burma, Ceylon, and recently Turkey. Other rare colors we have purchased and cut are yellow, brown, and orange (orange is extremely rare).

Two thousand years ago, in the Roman empire, peridot was call "olivine". Italian peridot is olive in color. American peridot is a light yellow-green.

Anciently, large chunks of peridot were found in Hawaii. These large pieces found their way around to the Egyptians, who made small drinking vessels out of them. They were used in rituals, the priests would drink soma from them. The soma would put them in touch with the nature goddess, Isis.

The breast plates of Solomon and the high Priest Aaron were said to carry them among the 12 stones to protect them from wounds and death in battle. These 12 stones were credited with the showing of true spiritual teaching by creating miracles of healing performed by the high priests.

Legend has it that King Soloman traded many cedar trees from Lebanon for 12 soma drinking cups and 144 liters of soma. The Egyptians made this trade for ramp logs to build their pyramids at Gisa. King Soloman was said to have been made wise and enlightened by the drinking of soma from the peridot cups.

Peridot: Extraterrestrial Gem

One gemstone is born in fire: peridot, the volcanic gem. Small crystals of peridot are often found in the rocks created by volcanoes and also can be found in meteors that fall to earth! A few samples of extraterrestrial peridot have even been faceted into gems!

Peridot is the gem form of the mineral olivine. Because the iron which creates the color is an integral part of its structure, it is found only in green, ranging from a summery light yellowish green to a 7-up bottle green.

Peridot was mined in ancient Egypt on an island called Zeberget. Mining was done at night because legend said that peridot could not be easily seen during the day. The island was infested with serpents who made peridot mining a very dangerous occupation until one Pharoh finally had them all driven into the sea.

The Romans called peridot "evening emerald," since its green color did not darken at night but was still visible by lamplight. Peridot later was also often used to decorate medieval churches, probably carried back to Europe by the Crusaders. Large peridots, more than 200 carats in size, adorn the shrine of the three magi at the Cologne Cathedral.

Peridot had the power to drive away evil spirits and the power was considered to be even more intense when the stone was set in gold. Peridot was also said to strengthen the power of any medicine drunk from goblets carved from the gemstone.

Today most peridot is mined by Native Americans in Arizona on the San Carlos Reservation. Fine large peridot are found in Myanmar (formerly Burma) and peridot is also mined in China and Sri Lanka.

In 1994, an exciting new deposit of peridot was discovered in Pakistan, and these stones are among the finest ever seen. The new mine is located 15,000 feet above sea level in the Nanga Parbat region in the far west of the Himalaya Mountains in the Pakistanian part of Kashmir. Beautiful large crystals of peridot were found, some that cut magnificent large gemstones. One stone was more than 300 carats! This new discovery, combined with fashion's passion for lime green, has revived interest in peridot and increased the popularity of this gemstone

Although peridot is treasured in Hawaii as the goddess Pélé's tears, almost all of the peridot sold in Hawaii today is from Arizona, even though peridot is produced by Hawaii's volcanoes. The island of Oahu even has beaches made out of olivine grains but unfortunately they are much too small to cut into peridot!