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The Birthstone of August: the Peridot

July 31, 2017/ BY Frank van Poorten

Stone of the sun, that’s how the Old Egyptians called the peridot. This was because the yellow-green to dark green reflects light reflect beautifully within this stone. According to the myths, the peridot was the favorite stone of Cleopatra. In Hawaii, the peridot symbolizes the tears of Pele, goddess of the volcanoes.

blocks of perodite in the snow or other white surroundings

The peridot stands for

  • Protection against negative influences
  • Self-reflection
  • Letting go of negative feelings
  • Love attraction
  • A positive effect on metabolism
  • Relaxing and healing effect

The peridot protects and removes negative influences from the people around you. It makes the wearer independent, assertive and helps him or her to find their way. The peridot provides self-awareness and lets you take a critical look at yourself about how to change for the better. This also affects how you perceive yourself and your feelings of guilt, remorse and obsessive behavior. It also makes it easier to let go of bottled up feelings such as anger and jealousy. The peridot stimulates the metabolism. It activates the operation of the liver, has a healing effect on the heart, the respiratory system and the eyes.

The origin 

The name peridot probably originates from the old Greek word peridona. This means ‘give enough’. This is most likely because the peridot always has been associated with welfare and happiness. The peridot is a rare transparent variety of the common mineral olivine.

Old lava stones at Lanzarote with peridot in it

Finding places

Peridot forms deep inside the crust of the earth and surfaces when a volcano erupts. However, the gem can also be found in meteorites and it’s even spotted on Mars. On earth, peridots are found in North America (including Hawaii), Australia, Brazil, China, Egypt, Kenia, Mexico, Burma, Norway, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Sri Lanka and Tanzania.

Myths and stories about the peridot

Sometimes, peridots are mistaken for emeralds and other green gemstones such as tourmaline. Many old treasures have green gemstones in them. Though people often assumed these were emeralds, they are actually peridots. An example is the jewelry collection of Cleopatra. For a long time, people assumed these were emeralds, though in fact, they were peridots. Another great example is the relics of the three kings in the Cologne cathedral. According to various gemologists, the green decorative stones are not emeralds but peridots instead.

lion's head with peridots as eyes

Other uses 

Besides the birthstone of August, the peridot is also the stone for the sign Libra. It is as well the appropriate gemstone to give for a 16 year marriage anniversary.

As a talisman

Many healing powers are attributed to the peridot. In alternative medicine, people who can’t come out of a negative spiral are sometimes advised to wear a peridot. When set in gold, a peridot can serve as a talisman to ward off nightmares and other night terrors.

white gold rings on fingers with peridot gemstones

In jewelry

Nowadays, peridots are still often used in gold jewelry. This is not because of the healing powers of the gem, but simply because it is a beautiful stone. The green color goes very well with both white and yellow gold. See peridots and other gemstones in our online colored gemstone collection or during a free guided tour through our diamond polishing factory.

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