Behind the Birthstone: August / Peridot

  • By interactive
  • 01 Sep, 2016
Peridot Meaning - August Birthstone Meaning

Peridot is a lime green gem - it is, in fact, one of the few gemstones that only has one color, although the exact shade can range from yellow green to deep olive, depending on the amount of iron in the gem. The gem was known in ancient Egypt, where it was called the "Gem of the Sun," and is referred to in the Bible under the name Pitdah. It is still the national gem of Egypt. The modern name comes from the Arabic word for gem - feridat. It was also popular in Hawaii, where the native people consider it to be the tears of the goddess Pele.

Where Does Peridot Come From?

These days, most peridot comes from Arizona, although some stones also come from China, Myanmar, and Pakistan. Peridot is found in lava rock deposits created by volcanoes, but a few have been found in meteorites - in the 1700s, a meteorite landing in Siberia contained a lot of peridot crystals that were large enough to be usable. Needless to say, peridot from outer space is very rare and valuable. Small peridots - under three carats - are very common and provide a cheaper alternative to expensive emeralds. Larger stones are rarer, but still tend to be cheaper than emeralds of the same size. In fact, peridot is sometimes called the "evening emerald." The largest peridot ever found, 319 carats when cut, was found in Egypt and donated to the Smithsonian - you can see it at the National Museum of Natural History alongside the Hope Diamond.

What Does Peridot Symbolize?

Peridot symbolizes strength. There is even a superstition that wearing a peridot set in gold will protect you from nightmares. It is also associated with love and faithfulness, and with prosperity and happiness - some people even think wearing peridot can help lift depression. The August birthstone color meaning also includes healing negative emotions and enhancing confidence and self esteem. Peridot and amethyst rings are often worn by Catholic bishops. In addition to being the August birthstone, peridot is recommended as a 16th wedding anniversary gift. Peridot was on the original birthstone list set by the National Association of Jewelers in 1912. It is also on the list of Britain's National Association of Goldsmiths, created in 1937. However, it was not listed as a birthstone before that - the association with love seems to be older.

Beautiful Gems at a Great Price

Jewelry made with small peridots can be quite affordable - you can easily get a peridot pendant or set of earrings for the region of $50. According to the International Gem Society, stones in the 1 to 4 carat range can, when cut, command a price of $40/ct, but larger stones, being rarer, can reach $100-150 per carat. To compare, you can easily pay several hundred dollars for a cut emerald of less than 1 carat in size - and emeralds, of course, are not the birthstone. For a special piece, though, you might want to splash out and get something custom made for you or the person you love. Call Jewelry by Christopher at 815-227-5500 to discuss exactly what you want.

Christopher's Fine Jewelry Blog | Rockford IL

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