Peridot the Birthstone for Leo Star Sign
Called “the extreme gem” by the Gemological Institute of America, Peridot is born of fire and brought to light, one of only two gems (Diamond is the other) formed not in the Earth’s crust, but in molten rock of the upper mantle and brought to the surface by the tremendous forces of earthquakes and volcanoes. While these Peridots are born of Earth, other crystals of Peridot have extraterrestrial origins, found in rare pallasite meteorites (only 61 known to date) formed some 4.5 billion years ago, remnants of our solar system’s birth. Peridot in its basic form, Olivine, was also found in comet dust brought back from the Stardust robotic space probe in 2006, has been discovered on the moon, and detected by instrument on Mars by NASA’s Global Surveyor. Ancients believed, quite accurately, that Peridot was ejected to Earth by a sun’s explosion and carries its healing power.
Peridot, in shades of olive, is one of the few gemstones that forms in only one color. Beautifully faceted, it evokes the lateness of summer and the onset of fall, as leaves morph from green to gold and hang like jewels in the sunlight. It is a crystal of warmth and well-being, mentally stimulating and physically regenerating. It carries the gift of inner radiance, sharpening the mind and opening it to new levels of awareness and growth, helping one to recognize and realize one’s destiny and spiritual purpose.
Associated with the sun, Peridot has been prized since the earliest civilizations for its protective powers to drive away the forces of darkness. Set in gold and worn around the neck or bound to the left arm, it was used as a charm against sorcery and magic, evil spirits, night terrors, and madness. It cured cowardice, calmed anger, as well as brightening the wit. Peridot is still celebrated for those virtues, protecting the aura, purifying the physical and subtle bodies, and alleviating emotional burdens, guilt and obsessions. It is particularly beneficial for overcoming fear, depression and other psychological disturbances, as well as releasing jealousies, resentment and spite in order to move forward. Peridot promotes responsibility and forgiveness, instilling confidence in one’s own abilities and reestablishing a sense of self-worth. A powerful generator of the frequency of increase, this lovely talisman may be utilized to manifest abundance in all areas of one’s life: wealth, health, happiness and love.
Peridot (pronounced pair-uh-doe) is the gem form of Olivine, a magnesium iron silicate mineral of the forsterite-fayalite family, with the amount of iron being responsible for the color. While Olivine is an abundant mineral, gem-quality Peridot is rather rare, especially in larger stones. It varies from bright yellow-green, lime or pure green, to deep olive or brownish-green; the most valued being a dark olive-green. It occurs for the most part as an eye-clean gem with excellent transparency, and is typically faceted. There is no known treatment to improve its color or clarity and therefore is not heat-treated or enhanced in any way.
Zodiac: Leo Virgo Sagittarius Scorpio
The modern August birthstone, peridot has been prized as a jewelry stone since ancient times. Always green in color but with considerable variations, a peridot’s particular shade depends on its source.
Peridots belong to the forsterite-fayalite solid-solution series, which forms part of the olivine group of minerals. The term peridot refers to green, gem-quality olivine. Forsterite is the magnesium (Mg)-dominant end, while fayalite is the iron (Fe)-dominant end. As idiochromatic gems, peridots get their characteristic green color from iron, an essential element of their chemical structure. In peridot, ferrous iron (Fe2+) creates green, while ferric iron (Fe3+) creates yellow. Traces of chromium (Cr) in peridots don’t cause hue but may make the green color brighter.
The modern August birthstone has a long history. The celebrated Isle of St. John (or Zabargad, Egypt) in the Red Sea has produced peridots since the time of Ancient Egypt. This site has also produced one of the most confusing name mixups in gemology. The Ancient Greeks called this island Topazios, which was said to produce a yellow-green gem. This name for the island eventually led to the name topaz for those famously (but not exclusively) yellow gems.
Oddly enough, the gem modern gemology identifies as topaz doesn’t occur on this island. However, gems from this island were also called chrysolite, Greek for “golden stone.” By the 19th century, chrysoberyl, prehnite, and peridot (all green to yellow-green gems) were called chrysolite.
Olivines can range in hardness from 6.5 (fayalite) to 7 (forsterite). Thus, peridots can approach quartz gems in hardness. However, they are still sensitive to scratching from household dust (which has a hardness like quartz). Furthermore, they have some susceptibility to stress fractures.
Use protective settings for any peridot rings. Avoid settings that place stress on peridots and clean them only with a soft brush, mild detergent, and warm water. Peridots also have some sensitivity to acids, even those found in perspiration. Peridot jewelry should be worn against the skin only occasionally.