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Peridod, August's Birthstone - 2016-08-02

Shopping for Antique or Vintage Peridot Jewellery?

If you're shopping for a beautiful piece of antique or vintage peridot jewellery you will enjoy

this brief post on what makes peridot so saught after.

August in North America is a time of heat and sunlight. It seems only fitting that August's

birthstone was once known as the 'Gem of the Sun' for the glowing golden tones of its green.

Peridot is the gem variety of the mineral Olivine and this gorgeous, transparent stone can be

found in shades from Pistachio to Deep olive green. Peridot's hardness falls at a 6.5-7 on the

MOHs scale.


Peridot is a stone with a long and rich history. In Ancient Egypt the stone was discovered and

mined on the island of Zabargad in the Red Sea. Cleopatra draped herself in these gems, and it

is often argued that her vast collection of Emeralds were in fact Peridots. The Romans were

fascinated by the way this gemstone did not change colour in artificial light and dubbed it the

'Emerald of the Evening'. In Germany's Cologne Cathedral three 200 carat Peridot stones still

mark the shrine of the Three Holy Kings, to the delight of tourists. Napoleon gifted Josephine a

Peridot as a symbol of his undying love and admiration. Owners of vintage or antique peridot

find themselves in good company with a rich and interesting cast of characters.

The name Peridot claims its origins from several languages. From the Greek 'Peridona' it

translates as 'to give richness'. In Arabic the word for gem 'Faridat' is given credit as the root of

the word Peridot. In French the root of the word Peridot is the word 'Peritot' which means gold,

and may have reflected the golden tones of these green gems. Peridot has also been called

Chrysolite from the Greek for 'gold stone'.


This stone of lightness, beauty and spirituality also has an intriguing connection to the

extraterrestrial. While Peridot more regularly occurs in volcanic basalts and areas where lava

flows and molten rocks have disturbed the earth's crust it has also been found in several

meteorites that have crashed into the earth (Eastern Siberia in 1749 for one). Could the glow of

green peridot in meteorites be where the rumours of 'little green men' started?


The clarity of Peridot is excellent, and allows for beautiful, large accent pieces that sparkle on

the finger, the ear or the neck. New caches of high quality Peridots were located in Pakistan in

1990 and their quality is so excellent that they are often referred to as 'Kashmir Peridots'. Since

the nineties the peridot has enjoyed a steady popularity and is often featured in spring fashion

lines for its vibrant, golden-green tones.


Legends claim that a Peridot set in yellow gold will actually protect its wearer from the terrors of

the night. The invigorating tones of peridot pair beautifully with yellow gold in delicate antique

pendants and necklaces. Edwardian and Victorian pieces combine dainty details or seed pearls

with popular peridot in timeless elegance. Peridot pendants accentuate any neckline, proving

that some legends were made to be followed.

Searching for the perfect piece of antique or vintage peridot jewellery? Peruse an abundance of

beautiful Peridot pendants, earrings and rings at Cynthia Findlay Antiques.

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