Sunday, August 1, 2010


Hawaiian legend says that this gemstone is the goddess Pele’s tears. In Roman times, it was known as “evening emerald” as it appears green, even in low light. What stone is this that so captured the imagination of people? It is peridot, the birthstone for the month of August.

Peridot with milky inclusions - photo by Michelle Jo

Peridot was used in jewelry thousands of years ago in Egypt and in Ancient Greece, but the gemstone was introduced to Europe only during the Middle Ages when it was brought back by Crusaders. The stone remained popular until about the 1700s, but then its popularity waned.

In the mid 1990s, peridot became popular again after a rich deposit of high quality stones was found in Pakistan. The high quality gemstones are known as “Kashmir peridots”.

Peridot crystal from Pakistan - photo by Rob Lavinsky of

Peridot can be a yellow green, an olive green, an intense apple green or a brownish green, but it is always green. It is one of few gemstones that comes in only one colour. The intensity of the colour is dependant on the amount of ferrous iron present.

Emerald cut peridot - photo by Michelle Jo

Peridot is sometimes treated with colourless oil, wax and/or resins to improve its appearance. It is safe to assume that inexpensive peridot has been treated in some way.

Store your peridot jewelry with care as the stone picks up scratches easily and can be difficult to polish. This gemstone is sensitive to quick temperature changes, so avoid steam cleaners and ultrasonic cleaners. Instead, clean peridot using mild dish soap. Peridot is also sensitive to acids, which will quickly remove the polish on the stones, so avoid using household cleaners when wearing peridot jewelry.

Featuring artisan handmade creations by the Etsy Starving Artists jewelry team. SATeam members create handcrafted jewelry and beads. More information about our team and its current Etsy shop owner members can be found at


galadryl said...

Learning something every day. Thank you. Beautiful jewelry choices you've made. I love the cross.

tjrjewellery said...

Nice summary on the history of peridot Julie! A great way to start the month of August.

Danagonia said...

Very informative, this was a great article!!

Stacie @ said...

I have fallen madly in love with the setting on the solitaire peridot ring. Madly in love!

angie said...

Beautiful pieces, and great information on peridot.

StudioDTQ said...

Didn't realize peridot was a "softer" stone. I love finding new things out- thank you for the info...!

mcstoneworks said...

What August birthday person wouldn't love one of these. Beautiful pieces and great information.

BeadSire said...

What an interesting write up on this lovely stone - I've learnt something new and those pictures are awesome, thank you!

Bonnie said...

Thank you for an informative post. I have learned something new about peridot.