Pronounced as per-i-doh, the ‘T’ on the end is silent. The origin of its name is uncertain. It represents the birthstone for August, and also the 16th Wedding anniversary.
This beautiful gem only comes in one colour ‘ olive green’, and is part of the family of gems named Olivine. A stone known for its energy, positive powers and good luck.
It is only one of two gems observed to be formed NOT in the Earths Crust, but molten rock on the upper mantle coming to the surface by lava. It is also found in meteorites, but extraterrestrial Peridot is extremely rare and not likely to be found in retail jewellery.
Peridot is an abundant mineral, but fine gem-quality stones are scarce, small stones under 1.50 carats are quite inexpensive, 2-4 carat stones are starting to creep up in price. while stones 5 carats and above can run into thousands of pounds.
In Ancient times, Peridot has been mistaken for Emerald. Some historians believe Cleopatra’s famous Emeralds could have possibly been Peridots, and for centuries the impressive 200 carats of gems adorning the shrine of ‘The Holy Kings’ in Germany’s Cologne Cathedral, also thought to be emeralds but were in fact Peridots.
The earlier use in England is in the register of ‘St Albans Abbey’ in Latin, translated in 1705 and possibly the first use of ‘Peridot’ in England. It recalls that on the death of Bishop John in 1245 he bequeathed various items including Peridot to the Abbey.
Ancient belief is this stone had the powers to ward off the evil spirits of the night.
The largest cut Peridot is held in the Smithsonian Natural Museum, Washington DC. This exceptionally large stone weighs 311.78 carats, cushion-shaped and discovered in Egypt.
Another impressive Peridot to view is the 146.10 carat, square octagon specimen held in the Geological museum London.
Peridot isn’t the most popular of gems, this maybe that only the smaller, cheaper stones are used in retail.
Wards only use the top gem-quality stones. If you would like to view the full extent of our range of Peridots please contact our showroom where we will be please to help and advise you.