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4 Fun Facts about Peridot, Birthstone of August

Peridot, with its vibrant green hue, is a gem that has captivated human hearts for centuries. Celebrated in ancient times as the “gem of the sun,” peridot’s color ranges from deep green to yellow-green or greenish-yellow. Beyond its visual allure, peridot enjoys a fascinating history and an association with metaphysical and healing properties.

Fun Facts

1. Peridot & diamond are cousins

Among gems, only peridot and diamond formed deep within the Earth’s mantle. Diamonds formed under extreme pressure and high temperatures, about 90 to 120 miles below the Earth’s surface. Peridot also formed in the mantle, around 20 to 55 miles below the surface, as a result of plate tectonics. These two gemstones are “deep-earth” cousins.

Diamond and Peridot rings
Credit: Macy’s peridot & diamond ring


2. Peridot is an ancient trickster

Historically, the rich green of peridot has caused it to be mistaken for other noble gemstones.

  • The ancient Greeks called Zabargad Island, off the coast of Egypt, Topazios Island, because they mistook its deposits of peridot for topaz.
  • The Shrine of the Three Kings, built in Germany between 1180-1225, was adorned with 200 carats of gemstone accents thought to be emeralds, later discovered to be peridot.
  • Some historians even speculate that Cleopatra’s collection of rich green emeralds were, in fact, peridot.
Cleopatra Painting
Credit: Gemporia

3. Peridot from outer space?

Yes. Fragments of peridot have been discovered inside meteorites that crashed to Earth. These samples have typically been tiny, with the exception of an extraordinary discovery in 1979: A meteorite unearthed in Siberia was found to have sizable gem-quality peridot crystals.

Unfortunately, you’ll find that “space peridot jewelry” is not available on the market. Those crystals were quickly consumed by mineral and meteorite enthusiasts, collectors and scientific researchers.

Credit: Júlia Borges on Unsplash

4. Peridot reduces stress?

For some, yes. Proponents of gemstones’ metaphysical properties associate peridot with positivity, compassion, and harmony. It’s thought to enhance one’s spiritual growth and foster a deep connection with nature. Peridot’s soothing color is said to promote feelings of relaxation and stress reduction and, in the realm of physical healing, peridot is said to support the immune system and aid in detoxification processes.

What do I believe?
It couldn’t hurt to try.

Peridot earrings
Credit: Etsy extra large peridot earrings

What else?

The heaviest polished peridot weighs 311.80 carats. It was found on Zabargad Island, mentioned above. If you’re in Washington D.C. you can view it at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History. Pop by, stand close, and see if your stress starts melting away.

Happy Birthday, August babies.

Peridot at the Smithsonian
Credit: Smithsonian




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