Seventeen peridot facts

  1. Peridot is gem-quality forsteritic olivine. The chemical composition of peridot is (Mg, Fe)2SiO4, with Mg in greater quantities than Fe.
  2. Peridot is the gem form of the mineral olivine and is called sometimes Chrysolite.
  3. Peridot is the only gemstone found in meteorites.
  4. Hardness (Mohs scale) 6,5 - 7
  5. Peridot was called «Gem of the sun» by the ancients. They believed that it had the power to dissolve enchantments and to drive evil spirits away.
  6. The origin of the name "peridot" is uncertain. The Oxford English Dictionary suggests an alteration of Anglo-Norman pedoret├ęs (classical Latin paederot-), a kind of opal, rather than the Arabic word faridat, meaning "gem".
  7. Small crystals of peridot are often found in the rocks created by volcanoes and can also be found in meteors that fall on earth.
  8. Olivine in general is a very abundant mineral, but gem quality peridot is rather rare.
  9. When used as protection against the wiles of evil spirits, peridot was pierced and then strung on the hair of a donkey, and attached to the left arm.
  10. Peridot is one of the few gemstones that occur in only one color: basically an olive green.
  11. For peridot to exert its full powers as a talisman, it had to be set in gold, and when worn in this way, it was thought to dispel the terrors of the night.
  12. Many beautiful examples of peridot were brought back from the Mediterranean area during the Crusades and used to decorate European cathedrals, where they still remain.
  13. The largest cut peridot olivine is a 310 carat (62 g) specimen in the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, D.C..
  14. In powder, peridot was used as a remedy for asthma. When held under the tongue, it was believed to lessen the thirst in fever.
  15. In much antique jewelry, peridot could have come from Egypt: in the late 18th/early 19th century, peridot was taken from Egyptian ecclestial and other ornaments and reused in jewelry.
  16. Peridot, alternating with sardonyx, is the birthstone for August.
  17. Peridot olivine is mined in North Carolina, Arizona on the San Carlos Reservation, Hawaii, Nevada, and New Mexico, in the US; and in Australia, Brazil, China, Kenya, Mexico, Myanmar (Burma), Norway, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, and Tanzania.