Peridot is the birthstone for the month of August as well as the gemstone to celebrate a 16th wedding anniversary. It is one of the few gemstones that occur in only one colour: a bright, grass-green to yellowish-green colour.
The word “peridot” comes from the Arabic faridat, meaning gem, and it has appeared in priests’ jewellery as early as the 2nd century BCE and later in churches of medieval Europe. Throughout history, peridot has been used as a protective talisman. Although many countries have Peridot sources, such as China, Myanmar, Tanzania, US to name a few, some Peridot journeyed to earth on meteorites. Pallasite meteorites are made of nickel-iron and olivine. Gem-quality olivine is known as peridot. Although thousands of these meteorites have hit the earth, only a few contain gem-quality peridot.
The green sand beach “Papakolea” in Hawaii, one of 4 green beaches in the world. The source of green sand was from the weathering of Tholeiite basalt.
Olivine is a common mineral component of Hawaiian lavas and one of the first crystals to form as magma cools. Locals refer to peridot as the “Hawaiian Diamond,” and small peridot stones are sold as “Pele’s tears” in honor of Pele, the goddess of volcanoes. When on the big island of Hawaii, you can do a one-hour hike to the remote beach of Pu’u Mahana, a green beach of peridots that appears surreal against the backdrop of steely grey cliffs, turquoise blue ocean, and bright blue sky.
Peridot is a softer gemstone with a 6.5 – 7 Mohs scale of hardness and cannot take hard wear. Use a soft bristle brush, like a jewellery cleaning pen, and warm water to clean your Peridot, or, bring it to your jewellery store for a professional cleaning. Store your Peridot where it cannot be scratched by harder gemstones and metals.
For more information on Peridot or to view some beautiful stones, visit our store located in historic downtown Cochrane.