|Name Origin:||Uncertain. Perhaps from pedoretés a name for another stone|
|Colour:||One of the only gemstones that come in just one colour: Olive Green|
|Hardness:||6.5 out of 10 on Mohs Scale|
|Found in:||North America, Australia, Brazil, Mexico and parts of Africa and Asia, although high quality peridot is extremely rare. One such quality deposit was discovered in Pakistan in the 1990s, leading to a surge in popularity.|
As the song goes, its not easy being green especially true when you share a colour with the much-loved emerald. However, the peridot has its own rich history, deep symbolism and has enjoyed a renewal in popularity in recent times. Long the understudy, it is now enjoying its share of the lime light!
Ancient Egyptian jewellery features peridot in abundance. The gem has been linked to wisdom, gentleness and fairness in its wearer and is also believed to aid friendship, create peace of mind. These peace-loving properties kept it in high demand over the centuries: Napoleon Bonaparte gifting a peridot to his wife as a symbol of admiration and love, while Catholic bishops have long worn peridot as a symbol of purity and morality.
Peridot has even been found in space the only gemstone ever discovered in a meteorite. Equally intriguing, it is also the only gemstone ever discovered in Antarctica. And you can breathe easy knowing that it was historically ground down as an asthma treatment. Peridot is also believed to cure jealousy, although its appearance in some stunning jewellery would surely have the opposite effect!
Like the emerald, darker shades of peridot are considered the most valuable in this case, dark olive green. Peridot can also contain inclusions and will often be treated with oil, wax or resin to enhance its colour.
Caring for your peridot is a straightforward affair. Despite below ranked softer than other more high maintenance gems, it is fine to use warm water and mild soap, wiping carefully with a soft cloth. (However, it will not tolerate acid of any sort.) First State recommends having your peridot professionally cleaned roughly every two years.
The largest cut peridot weighs 310 carats, on display at the Smithsonian Museum in Washington DC. It is believed that the Peridot was Cleopatra's favourite gem, while Emperor Nero wore spectacles made from peridot (not emerald). High quality peridots are often called Kashmir peridots in reference to the region and a nod to impressive Kashmir sapphires.