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Birthstones: August - Peridot

Illustration: Elisa Werbler

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.  - American Gem Society

Identification

Color - The color range for peridot is narrow, from a brown-green color to yellowish green to pure green. Yellowish green is the most common peridot color seen in jewelry. - GIA

Mohs Hardness - 6.5 to 7

History

The word peridot comes from the Arabic “faridat,” which means “gem.” Most peridot formed deep inside the earth and was delivered to the surface by volcanoes. Some also came to earth in meteorites, but this extraterrestrial peridot is extremely rare, and not likely to be seen in a retail jewelry store.

Some historians believe that Cleopatra’s famous emerald collection might actually have been peridot. People in medieval times continued to confuse peridot with emerald. For centuries, people believed the fabulous 200-ct. gems adorning the shrine of the Three Holy Kings in Germany’s Cologne Cathedral were emeralds. They are, in fact, peridots. - GIA

Physical, Mystical and Spiritual Properties

Peridot is the gem variety of the mineral olivine. Its chemical composition includes iron and magnesium, and iron is the cause of its attractive yellowish green colors. The gem often occurs in volcanic rocks called basalts, which are rich in these two elements - GIA

The lime, green, gentle Peridot gem, the August birthstone is associated with less tangible qualities of peace, good fortune and happiness. The mellow glow of the Peridot, a soft, light green under the starlit sky or lantern has earned this lovely gemstone the title ‘The Evening Emerald’. The august birthstone is associated with prosperity, growth, dignity and love. It is also believed that the stone has the power to ward away Evil and nightmares, bestowing peace and progress in one’s life. - Birthstone Zodiac




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