August’s Birthstone: Peridot
One of the birthstones for August is peridot, a beautiful, vibrant and sunny green-yellow gem found all over the world. Prized by the ancient Egyptians, peridot has been collected, carved, and used in jewelry and adornments since 1500 BC.
This lovely gem can be found in countries all over the world- from Arizona to Hawaii, from Pakistan to Brazil and beyond. It is typically found in chunks of rock from the Earth’s upper mantle, which are carried to the Earth’s surface in volcanic eruptions.
Peridot has even been found in meteorites that crash to Earth’s surface. Gem-bearing meteorites, or pallasites, have been found containing mineral deposits that include several species of gems you might be familiar with. However, only peridot has been found in large enough quantities to be faceted for use in jewelry. You might say peridot is a truly out-of-this-world gemstone.
While peridot has frequently been confused with emerald over the course of history (the ancient Egyptians often mistook peridot for emerald), it is beautiful and desirable in its own right. Peridot belongs to the Olivine mineral group. Though there are eight varieties of minerals belonging to this group, peridot is the only one faceted and used in jewelry.
Peridot is identified by its unique color, strong doubling due to its high birefrigence, and “lilypad” inclusions: disk-shaped fractures that resemble their namesake. This example was photographed by our gemologists at about 30X magnification.
Peridot ranges in quality, with especially fine specimens selling for top dollar. The experienced gemologists at JAGi Lab can help you generate more profit from your peridot jewelry inventory. Give us a call at 619-269-6729 or shoot us an e-mail to learn more about the services we provide.